The paper examines the relative position of Gujarat on economic and human development indicators over a period of ten years from 2004-05. It then compares state government’s priorities for human development in terms of budgetary allocation to social sector in general and education and health sector in particular over the ten years period using expenditure ratios and per capita social sector expenditure. The study observes that although there is an improvement in the relative position with respect to economic growth, in many of the human development indicators there is a deterioration in the relative position of Gujarat among 16 Indian states. Paradoxically, the study finds that the state is certainly not lagging behind in terms of the budgetary allocation to the social sector. The per capita social sector expenditure is almost similar to states who are better performers with respect to human development. The paper concludes that budgetary allocations certainly do not reflect the lower priorities of state government and hence may not be responsible for lower ranking on human development. The study suggests furthering examining the possible arguments for the paradox.
Keywords: Human Development, Social Expenditure, state’s budgetary allocation, Gujarat