Delhi overtakes Mumbai as financial capital of India

28 November 2016

Move over Mumbai long touted as the financial capital of India, it must now cede this title to Delhi.

The latest data released by Oxford Economics places Mumbai at number 31 among the 50 top metropolitan economic entities globally in 2015, while Delhi is placed at number 30.

The analysis by Oxford Economics revealed that the Mumbai extended urban agglomeration (EUA), which includes Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Vasai-Virar, Bhiwandi and Panvel, had a GDP of $368 (Rs2.51 lakh crore) in terms of purchasing power parity, using a 2012 PPP conversion rate of Rs 15.5 per dollar.

On the other hand, the Delhi EUA, which includes Delhi NCR, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad, had a GDP at PPP of $370 (Rs2.53 lakh crore), taking it to 30th position in the global ranking.

The Oxford Economics forecast for 2030 shows that both Delhi and Mumbai will move further up on the list, with Delhi predicted to be at number 11, and Mumbai at 14th spot.

Experts point to the fact that Delhi is closer to the national government for clearances, has better availability of infrastructure in the region adjoining Delhi, and lower realty cost compared to Mumbai, which may be some factors that have played in favour of Delhi turning it into the economic hub of the country.

But Mumbai EUA, with a lower population, continues to score over Delhi EUA in per capita terms.

Independent global advisory firm Oxford Economics provides reports, forecasts and analytical tools on 200 countries, 100 industrial sectors and over 3,000 cities.

Prof Bino Paul of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) said that post-liberalisation, Delhi NCR seems to have outpaced Mumbai metropolitan in physical infrastructure and social infrastructure.

''Perhaps what makes Delhi NCR more buoyant and inspirational than Mumbai is the massive spatial consolidation and contentedness that have emanated from synchronisation between state and business, in particular in locating industry decisions,'' The Times of India quoted Paul as saying.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis rejected the claim that Delhi's GDP has gone ahead of Mumbai.

''I want to challenge these figures. From figures of the Reserve Bank of India, Economic Survey of India and Maharashtra, it is evident that Mumbai is ahead in terms of GDP and financial status. The MMR GDP is higher," he said.

But old-time residents of what was once vibrant, cosmopolitan Bombay won't be surprised by the findings thanks to a series of short-sighted, parochial minded governments, they have seen their city going steadily downhill socially, culturally and economically, even as Delhi, which they once derided as a glorified village, has been climbing on all these parameters.

Now, Bombayites sorry, Mumbaikars have lost their last claim to glory.

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