Some Economic Information

by Jugal Kalita, kalita@pikespeak.uccs.edu



Land usage

(percentage)

Total area of Assam:  30318 square miles
                        (about the size of Maine,
                         about 4 times the size of New Jersey,
                         about one fifth the size of California,
                         about one ninth the size of Texas)

Prime agriculture     33.11
Unarable              30.76
Forests               25.42
Grazing lands          2.38
Plantations            3.39
Residential            4.94
Total                100.00



Major industrial products of Assam:

Tea, coal, matches, plywood, sugar, fertilizer, jute, textiles, petroleum
crude, oil refinary products, wheat flour, paper, cement


Production of Mineral Resources (1985)

(Units are in million metric tons)

Crude Oil      4583

Coal            850

Natural Gas     771

Limestone       168



Natural Resources

Coal
Makum, Marherita, Nazira, Lankadaman, Jaipur, Ledo Namdum, Koliajan - Total
production: 0.6% of India's production

Crude Oil
Naharkatiya, Moran, Hugrizan, Rudrasagar, Galeky, Lanka, Nazira, Teok -
Total production: more than 50% of India's production

Natural Gas
Naharkatiya, Moran
Limestone
Garampani, Koliajan
Forest Resources About 25% of the state's land area; Main products are
timber, bamboo, cane, fuel; Support plywood, match, paper and paper pulp
industries
Power Resources
Water, natural gas, coal and oil (mostly underutilized) - Assam has 28% of
the total hydro-power potential of India



Tea Industry

(largest industry in Assam)

First tea plantation started in Assam: 1835
Land under plantation in 1871: 300,000 acres
Land under plantation in 1981: 494,000 acres
Yield in 1933: 99 million kilograms
Yield in 1938: 118 million kilograms
Yield in 1982: 303 million kilograms
No of plantations in 1971: 750
No of plantations in 1981: 777
Number of people employed in 1938: 486,250
Number of people employed in 1942: 497,106
Number of people employed in 1980: 449,000
Number of people dependent on tea industry (current): about 12-15% of Assam's population
Guwahati Tea Auction Center (GTAC) inaugarated: Sep 25, 1970
Sale at GTAC in 1971-72: 21,998 thousand kilograms
Sale at GTAC in 1974-75: 26,626 thousand kilograms
Sale at GTAC in 1980: 6,256,000 thousand kilograms
Sale at GTAC in 1981: 6,497,000 thousand kilograms
Sale at GTAC in 1982: 7,534,000 thousand kilograms



Petroleum Industry

Oil discovery in Assam: 1825
Commercial production began: 1899
Assam Oil Company (AOC) formed: 1899
Burmah Oil Company takes over AOC: 1921
Production in 1977: 4.47 million tons
Production in 1980: 1.06 million gallons
Production in 1981: 4.39million gallons



Coal Industry

Coal discovered in Assam: 1825
Production in 1979-80: 582,000 thousand tons
Production in 1980-81: 651,000 thousand tons



Agriculture

(note: 1 hectare = 2.47 acres)

No of people dependent on agriculture: 70%
Food crops: Rice, wheat, pulses, potato, maize
Cash crops: Tea, jute, oilseeds, tobacco, sugarcane
Total area of Assam: 7,852,000 hectares
Total cropped area (1977-78): 3,311,000 hectares
Total cultivable wasteland (1977-78): 244,000 hectares
Total area under food crops (1975-76): 2,800,000
Total area under rice (1981-82): 2,260,000 hectares
Total number of operational holdings (agricultural; 1976-77): 2,250,000
Average size of operational holding (agricultural; 1976-77): 1.37 hectares



Major Industries in Assam

Jute mill                    Silghat
Silk mill                    Jagiroad
Chemical fertilizers         Namrup
Petrochemical                Namrup, Bongaigaon
Oil refinary                 Digboi, Noonmati, Bongaigaon
Paper mill                   Jagiroad, Panchgram, Jogighopa
Match factory                Dhubri
Cement factory               Bokajan
Sugar mill                   Barua Bamun Gaon, Chargola, Kampur
Yarn mill                    Chariduar, Chandrapur
Vegetable ghee mill          Amingaon
Iron pipes                   Gotanagar (Guwahati)
Railway repair workshops     Bongaigaon, New Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh
Chemical plants              Guwahati, Chandrapur



Transportation

Roadways (1984-85)	26,352 kilometers (16, 233 miles) of road
National highway	2,035 kilometers (1254 miles)
Railway track (1988)	2388 kilometers (1471 miles)
Airports		6

Sources of the information

  1. Adhunik Asomia Manchitra edited by Bijay Kumar Dutta, Student Stores,
    Guwahati, First edition, 1988
  2. The Economy of Assam, Pranab Kumar Dhar, Ashomi Prakashani, Bijni, Assam,
    1987