Economy of Assam

The economy of the State in terms of the Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) is expected to register an annual growth of 6.23 per cent at constant (1993-94) prices during 2005-06 as per Advance Estimates as against a growth rate of 5.76 per cent during 2004-2005 as per Quick Estimates. At current prices, a growth of 8.23 percent is expected in 2005-2006 (Advance Estimates) as against 8.15 per cent growth recorded in the preceding year. As per the said estimates the Per Capita Income is likely to attain a level of Rs.7020/- at constant (1993-94) prices and Rs.14523/- at current prices during 2005-2006 as against Rs.6721/- and Rs.13633/- respectively in the year 2004-2005. Based on Advanced Estimates, the Per Capita Income is likely to register a growth of 4.45 per cent in real term in 2005-2006 as against 3.94 per cent recorded in 2004-2005. At current prices, the Per Capita Income is likely to register a growth of 6.53 per cent in 2005-2006 as against 6.33 per cent growth in 2004-2005. As per the Advance Estimates the share contribution of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sectors to the total NSDP of the State at constant (1993-94) prices stands at 35.60 per cent, 14.46 per cent and 49.94 per cent respectively during 2005-2006 as against 36.91 per cent, 13.58 per cent and 49.50 percent respectively in 2004-2005. There is a remarkable shift in the economy from Primary to Tertiary Sector in recent years. The overall performance of the economy of the State during the year under report was by and large encouraging.

The economy of Assam continues to be predominantly agrarian. The dependence of rural labour force on agriculture and allied activities was nearly 53 per cent as per Population Census, 2001. During 2004-2005 the productivity of Summer Rice has increased to 1959 Kg. per hectare as against 1794 Kg. per hectare in the previous year. On the other hand, the productivity of Autumn Rice has declined to 667 Kg. per hectare from 991 Kg. per hectare and that of Winter Rice to 1598 Kg. per hectare from 1651 Kg. per hectare during the same period. As per available estimates, the production of total food-grains in the State was 36.18 lakh tonnes during 2004-2005 as against 40.34 lakh tonnes during 2003-2004 showing a decrease of 10.3 per cent over the previous year. The production of Rice which is the most important cereals crops grown in the State has decreased by 10.6 per cent during 2004-2005 over the previous year. However, the production of total pulses­ increased to 7.38 lakh tonnes in 2004-2005 from 7.08 lakh tonnes in 2003-2004. The production of Wheat decreased to 0.68 lakh tonnes in 2004-2005 from 0.73 lakh tonnes in the previous year. During the same period the production of Rape and Mustard too decreased to 1.29 lakh tonnes from 1.38 lakh tonnes.

The Index of Agricultural Production (base triennium ending 1981-82= 100) for the State stands at 153 (provisional) in 2004-2005 as against 166 in 2003-2004. During 2005-2006 agricultural production in the State is expected to be better than that of the previous year as the State was free from any major floods during the year.

The overall performance of Manufacturing and Processing sector of the State has not been much encouraging in the scenario of State's economy during 2004-2005. Provisional data available for the year shows a positive growth in the production of industrial items like Petroleum (Crude), Wheat, Flour, Cement, Jute Textiles, etc. over the level of production of the previous year. On the other hand a decrease in production has been noticed in respect of items like Tea, Fertilizer, etc. during the said year. Other industrial items maintained more or less same level of production during 2004-2005.

The General Index of Industrial Production of the State moved upto 142.21 in 2004-2005 from 141.45 in 2003-2004.

The Mining Sector of the State showed a mixed performance in production during 2004-2005. During the year, production of Petroleum (Crude) registered a growth of 2.9 per cent and that of Natural Gas (Utilized) increased by about 0.39 per cent whereas the production of Coal and Limestone recorded decrease by 14 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

The Index of Mineral Production of the State (Base 1993- 94=100) increased to 97.19 in 2004-2005 from 95.31 in the previous year.

The overall power supply position in the State during 2005-2006 was not much encouraging as the State had to witness erratic power supply during the year. The present installed capacity of the Assam State Electricity Board is 574.4 M.W. During 2004-2005 the generation of power has slightly moved upto 756.435 MU from 710 MU in 2003-2004. During the same period, the estimated requirement of power for the State was 3788.000 MU, while the availability was 3376.284 MU.

[Source: Economic Survey of Assam 2005]

Assam is a State rich in natural resources like oil and natural gas, coal, rubber, tea and some minerals like granite, limestone and kaolin. The present state is much smaller than what it was forty years ago. It is still the largest economy in the North East. It is like the gateway to the other North Eastern states with an infrastructure index (according to CMIE in 1992-93) of 93, quite close to the average of 100. Although it is more industrially developed than the other North Eastern states, it is primarily an agrian economy with 74% of its population engaged in agriculture and allied activities. The state is known for its large industries in the tea and petroleum sectors.

In 1999-2000, the contribution of the tertiary sector to the State Domestic Product (SDP) is the highest (39.46%). Over the years, there has been a shift in the sectoral contribution from primary to the tertiary sector while the secondary sector indicates a fluctuating contribution to the SDP.

The annual compound growth rate of NSDP during the last seven years (from 1993-94 to 1999-2000) has been worked out at 10.89% at current prices and 2.42% at constant (1993-94) prices. Agriculture demonstrated a growth rate of 11.16% at current prices and 2% at constant prices over the same period. Similarly for manufacturing sector it was 13.47% at current prices and 3.60% at constant prices during the same period. Per capita income of Assam continues to lag behind the national average.

(Source: NEDFi Databank)