Five years of a government are like the five stages of human life, only that the new government starts off as a young adult, not as a child.

The first year is the honeymoon – with the electors – thanking, praising, loving, caring. In the second year, realities emerge from under the fading sheen of the affair – state finances, the burden of promises, the challenge of meeting expectations.

The third year is when it tries to address them, often putting a strain on the relationship. The fourth is when it realises that it has more years behind it than ahead of it.

At this stage, it tends to give in to temptations (some do it quite early), often with results that it regrets. The fifth, the last, is when it tries desperately to revive the relationship and pray for a rebirth.

The M K Stalin government enters its third year today. And here are two things to expect.

This government should be credited with starting the process of salvaging the state’s economy early, mostly in its second year.

Inheriting an ailing economy in 2021, it has managed to reduce the fiscal deficit from 4. 6% of gross state domestic product (GSDP) to somewhere around 3% (borderline).

Going by surveys by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and states, Tamil Nadu, with a GSDP of 24. 8 lakh crore is the biggest economy in the south, but it has a debt-to-GSDP ratio of 27. 7%, compared to Telangana’s 25. 3% and Karnataka’s 27. 5%.

This despite Tamil Nadu topping in tax revenues at 1. 27 lakh crore. Tamil Nadu’s per capita income ( 2. 41 lakh) is also behind those of Telangana ( 2. 75 lakh) and Karnataka ( 2. 65 lakh).

Categorized in: