Himachal likely to post 7.7 percent growth this fiscal

Shimla, March 4 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh’s economic growth is expected to be 7.7 percent this financial year as against 7.5 percent in the previous year and the per capita income is estimated at Rs.130,067, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said on Friday.

As per advance estimates, the gross state domestic product (GSDP) at current prices is likely to be about Rs.110,511 crore this fiscal, as compared to Rs.101,108 crore in 2014-15 and Rs.92,589 crore in 2013-14, he said, citing the state’s economic survey 2015-16.

The growth is attributed primarily to agriculture, which generates about 10 percent to the total GSDP, and allied activities.

The state’s economy is highly dependent on hydroelectric power, horticulture and tourism.

The report was tabled in the assembly by Virbhadra Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio.

The production of apples, a prominent crop of Himachal Pradesh, stood at 7.54 lakh tonnes by December of this fiscal (2015-16). The apple yield in fiscal 2014-15 was only 6.25 lakh tonnes. It was 7.39 lakh tonnes in 2013-14.

The overall production of all fruits was 8.19 lakh tonnes until December this fiscal.

The foodgrain production grew 5.6 percent to 16.74 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 from 15.85 lakh tonnes in the previous fiscal.

The report said the per capita income at current prices increased to Rs.119,720 in 2014-15 from Rs.110,209 in 2013-14, a growth of 8.6 percent.

At constant (2011-12) prices, the per capita income during 2014-15 is estimated at Rs.104,838 against Rs.98,425 in 2013-14, a growth of 6.5 percent.

The sectoral analysis reveals that during 2014-15 the percentage contribution of primary sector to the total GSDP is 15.91 percent, secondary sector 41.08 percent, transport, communications and trade 12.62 percent, finance and real estate 15.08 percent, and community and personal services 15.31 percent.

According to the report, the structural composition of the state economy witnessed significant changes in the past decade.

The share of agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry to the GSDP declined from 21.1 percent in 2000-01 to 10.4 percent in 2014-15.

The share of primary sector, which includes agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining and quarrying, has fallen to 15.9 percent in 2014-15 from 25.1 percent in 2000-01.

The secondary sector, which occupies the second important place in the state economy, has witnessed a major improvement since 1990-91, said the report.

It’s contribution increased from 26.5 percent in 1990-91 to 41.1 percent in 2014-15.

There are 518 medium and large-scale and 40,194 small-scale industries in the state.

Himachal Pradesh’s hydropower generation potential is 27,436 MW – about 25 percent of country’s total hydropower potential. However, only 10,264 MW of power has been tapped till December last year, which is 37 percent of the total potential.

Tourism, which accounts for 7.2 percent of the state gross domestic product, last year attracted 1.75 crore people from within the country and abroad. The number of tourists is 2.4 times the state’s population.

According to the report, the state has 2,416 hotels with a bed capacity of 67,097 registered with the state tourism department. In addition, there are 662 home-stay units with a provision of 1,838 rooms.

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