HP economic growth expected to be 6.8 percent, dip by 1.3 percent


    Himachal Pradesh’s economic growth is expected to be 6.8 percent this fiscal and the per capita income is estimated at Rs 147,277, State economic growth dip by 1.7 percent compared to 8.1 per cent of last year, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said today. Mr. Singh who holds the portfolio of Finance tabled the State Economic survey for year 2016-17 in the State Assembly which highlighted that Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at current prices in 2015-16 increased to Rs 113,667 crore from Rs 104,177 crore in the previous fiscal and as per advance estimates it is likely to be about Rs 124,570 crore in this fiscal, he said, citing the State’s economic survey 2016-17.


    The growth rate during Twelfth Plan i.e. 2012-17 has been estimated at 7.2 percent. The state’s economy is highly dependent on hydroelectric power, horticulture and tourism. The overall production of fruits and food grains has declined. The production of fruits was 5.10 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 (till December) against 9.29 lakh tonnes in 2015-16. Apple constitutes about 84 percent of the total fruit production. During 2016-17 (till December) 4.56 lakh tonnes of apples were produced against 7.77 lakh tonnes in 2015-16. Agriculture generates 9.4 per cent to the total GSDP.


    In 2015-16, the food grains production was 16.34 lakh tonnes against the achieved production of 16.08 lakh tonnes during 2014-15, an increase of 1.6 percent. The reports said in this fiscal the food grains production is anticipated at 16.78 lakh tonnes. The secondary sector, which occupies the second important place in the state economy, has witnessed a major improvement since 1990-91, said the report. Its contribution increased from 26.5 per cent in 1990-91 to 41 percent in 2015-16 which likely to be remained steady. There are 576 medium and large-scale industries and 43,420 small-scale industries working in the State.


    Himachal Pradesh’s hydropower generation potential is 27,436 MW about 25 per cent of India’s total hydro-power potential. However, only 10,351.57 MW has been harnessed till December 2016, which is 37.73 percent of the total potential. The State has attracted 184.51 lakh tourists last year, which is 2.7 times of its population, said the report. Hospitality sector contributes by 7 per cent to state GDP with 2604 hotel units having 70, 869 bed capacity and in addition to 787 home stay units having 2137  rooms. State have about 8.24 lakh registered unemployed  with fresh registration of 1.44 lakh unemployed. State claimed offered about 732 employment avenues in the state sectors and 2505 in the private sector in the year.

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    ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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