Himachal targets 6.8% growth, compared with last fiscal’s 8.1%

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Shimla, March 9 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh’s economic growth is expected to be 6.8 per cent this fiscal as against 8.1 per cent during the previous year and its per capita income is estimated at Rs 147,277, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said on Thursday.

The 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 the Twelfth Plan, i.e., 2012-17 has been estimated at 7.2 per cent.

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

The report was tabled in the assembly by Virbhadra Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio, a day before the presentation of the state Budget.

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The overall production of fruit and food grain may declined.

The production of fruit was 5.10 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 (till December), compared with 9.29 lakh tonnes in 2015-16.

Apple yield in Himachal constitutes about 84 per cent of its annual fruit production. In this fiscal, 4.56 lakh tonnes of apple were produced till December against 7.77 lakh tonnes in the previous financial year.

Agriculture generates 9.4 per cent to the total GSDP.

In 2015-16, the food grain production was 16.34 lakh tonnes against the achieved production of 16.08 lakh tonnes during 2014-15, an increase of 1.6 per cent.

The reports said in this fiscal the food grain production is expected at 16 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.

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Its contribution increased from 26.5 per cent in 1990-91 to 41 per cent in 2015-16.

There are 576 medium- and large-scale industries and 43,420 small-scale industries in operation in the hill state.

Himachal Pradesh’s hydroelectricity generation potential is 27,436 MW – about 25 per cent of India’s total potential in the sector.

However, only 10,351 MW has been harnessed till December 2016, which is 37.73 per cent 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.

According to the report, the state has 2,604 hotels with a bed capacity of 70,869 registered with the state tourism department. In addition, there are 787 home-stay units with a provision of 2,137 rooms.

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