Survey pegs Himachal’s growth at 6.2 percent this fiscal

Shimla, Feb 6: The Himachal Pradesh economy’s growth is expected to remain at 6.2 percent this fiscal, comparatively better than the national rate, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said Thursday.

In the last fiscal, the state, whose economy is highly dependent on hydroelectric power, horticulture and tourism, saw 6.1 percent growth, Virbhadra Singh said quoting the state’s economic survey that was tabled in the assembly.

“The per capita income is estimated at Rs.92,300 for 2013-14,” said the chief minister, who also holds the finance portfolio.

He said the growth rate during the 11th Plan (2007-12) has been the same, both for the state and the all-India, which was eight percent.

The per capita income at current prices witnessed an increase of 11.6 percent as it increased to Rs.83,899 in 2012-13 from Rs.75,185 in 2011-12.

The increase in the total state domestic product is mainly attributed to 9.5 percent growth of primary sector that included agriculture, forestry and mining.

The gross and net state domestic product of state at current prices in 2012-13 increased to Rs.73,710 crore from Rs.64,957 crore in 2011-12 and as per advanced estimates it is likely to be about Rs.82,585 crore in 2013-14, the survey said.

During 2012-13, food grain production registered a rise of 1.6 percent against the previous year. It was 15.68 lakh tonnes in 2012-13 and in this fiscal it is pegged at 15.16 lakh tonnes, it said.

Fruit production was 8.28 lakh tonnes in 2013-14 (up to December 2013) against 5.56 lakh tonnes in 2012-13.

“Apple constitutes about 89 percent of the total fruit production. During 2013-14 (up to December 2013), 7.39 lakh tonnes of apples were produced against 4.12 lakh tonnes in 2012-13,” the report said.

There are 39,819 industries with an investment of Rs.17,339 crore in the state.

Himachal Pradesh’s hydropower generation potential is 23,000 MW – about 25 percent of country’s total hydropower potential. However, only 8,432 MW of power has been tapped till December last year, which is 36 percent of the total potential.

Also, according to the report, Himachal Pradesh attracted 161.46 lakh tourists in 2012. Shimla district emerged as state’s preferred destination, both for domestic and international guests, by getting the maximum 3,354,003 tourists.

The report said the hill state has 63 helipads. “There is a proposal to construct two new helipads, one at Kalabag near Churdhar in Sirmaur district and another at Sanjauli in Shimla.”