Himachal CM places Economic Survey; tourism worst-hit sector, agriculture least

Pratibha Chauhan

Shimla, March 3

Even as the economy is limping back to normalcy post Covid, the per capita income is estimated to register a quantum jump of 10.1 per cent from Rs 1.83 lakh last year to Rs 2.01 lakh in 2021-22, indicating revival of the hill economy.

The growth rate for the financial year 2021-22 has been pegged at 8.3 per cent, which is most encouraging as the state had registered a negative growth of 6.2 per cent in 2020-21, which was worst hit by pandemic.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur placed the Economic Survey for 2021-22 in the Vidhan Sabha today.

The state's economy is expected to witness real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 8.3 per cent after having contracting considerably in the pandemic.

The increase in real terms in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) pre-and-post Covid (2019-20 to 2021-2020) has been placed at 2.7 per cent.

Even as the economy still remains severely impacted by Covid, there are certain sectors, which have crossed pre-pandemic levels of output.

The per capita income (PCI) at current price for this year has been estimated at Rs 2,01,854 lakh, which is higher than the national PCI of Rs 51,528.

The growth in PCI during this year is estimated at 10.1 per cent. The urban and rural consumer price index (CPI) indices for inflation during the current year between April-December 2021 stand at 6.1 and 5.2 per cent as compared to 4.8 and 7.6 per cent in 2021-21. One of the worst-hit sector of tourism saw a decrease of 81 per cent in tourist arrivals in 2020, but the grim situation seems to be improving as there was an increase of 75.44 per cent in tourist flow upto December 2021.

It is the agriculture and allied sectors, which have been least, impacted by the pandemic and as such it is expected to register a growth of 8.7 per cent as compared to a negative growth of 8.6 per cent, last year. The services sector has been the worst hit by Covid even as it is expected to grow by 6.3 per cent, after having registered negative growth of 2.1 per cent, last year.

Owing to pandemic, hill state has seen significant increase in expenditure on social services, which includes health and education. The budgetary allocation for the health sector saw an increase from 5.52 per cent in 2020-21 to 5.93 per cent in the budget in 2021-22 to meet the escalated demand, owing to Covid.

The unemployment rate in the state declined from 5.2 per cent in 2018 to 2019-20, which is prior to the outbreak of pandemic.

A significant development has been the considerable increase in female workforce participation rate from 44.6 per cent in 2018-19 to 50.3 per cent in 2019-20.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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