Himachal expects growth rate of 9 per cent



Shimla (March 8): The economy of Himachal Pradesh is expected to grow at 9 per cent this fiscal year, which is higher than the national estimate of 8.6 per cent as per the state’s economic survey report.

“The per capita income is estimated at Rs 58,493 for 2010-11,” said the report, which was tabled in the state assembly on Monday by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. He said the state achieved a growth rate of 7.4 per cent in 2008-09 against 8.1 per cent in 2009-10 and is likely to achieve 9 per cent in 2010-11. “The per capita income increased to Rs 50,365 in 2009-10 from Rs 46,019 in 2008-09,” Dhumal, who also holds the finance portfolio, said.

The state economy is highly dependent on hydro-electric power, horticulture and tourism. However, during the 2009-10, the food production registered a decline by 17 per cent against the previous year. “The food production was 10.17 lakh MT against the production of 12.27 lakh MT in 2008-09. However, this fiscal the production is expected at 15.80 lakh MT,” said the survey.

According to the survey, the fruit production was 9.61 lakh tonnes in 2010-11 (up to December 2010) against 3.82 lakh tonnes in 2009-10. “Apple constitutes about 93 per cent of the total fruit production in the state. During 2010-11, 8.92 lakh tonne of apples were produced against 2.80 lakh tonne in 2009-10.”
Himachal Pradesh’s hydro-power generation potential is 23,000 MW – about 25 per cent of India’s total hydropower potential – out of which only 6,672 MW has been tapped.

Twelve projects with a combined generation capacity of 1,125 MW are under execution by the state electricity board, whereas 19 projects with a generation capacity of 1,685 MW are under execution by private companies. Five mega hydro projects with a combined generation capacity of 2,763 in the central/joint sector are also under execution.

The 1,000 MW Karcham-Wangtoo hydropower project in Kinnaur district being executed by Karcham Hydro Corporation Ltd, a subsidiary of Jai Prakash Industries Ltd, 100 MW Malana II in Kullu district and 100 MW Sorang hydro project in Kinnaur would be commissioned in 2011-12. Himachal Pradesh attracted 132.66 lakh tourists, the report said. “At present, 2,169 hotels having a bed capacity of 55,928 are registered with the state,” it added.

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