Thursday, November 3

Punjab Slips in Per Capita Income

Punjab has slipped to the fifth position in the per capita income ranking of the country as per the new figures issued by the Central Statistical Organisation for 2003-04.

The state's per capita income at around Rs 29,000 lags far behind its neighbour Haryana and Maharashtra, besides small states like Goa and Delhi. Two years ago Punjab's per capita income was Rs 25,652 against its neighbour Haryana's Rs 24,575.
With the slowdown of growth in agriculture and failure of the successive governments to attract adequate investment in the manufacturing and service sector, Punjab is no more an attraction even for migrants from UP, Bihar.
The state has lagged much behind its neighbour Haryana and coastal state Maharashtra. Meanwhile, Chandigarh has emerged as the number one in the country with highest per capita income (Rs 57,621) followed by national capital Delhi (Rs 51, 644).
"The politicians, academicians and closed-mind bureaucracy may boast of attractive industrial policy, attracting liquor barons and real estate agents, but the fact is that Punjab has already lost the race," says a senior economist at NCAER.
He said large-scale corruption, loss-making public sector and populist policies of the state like free power were the main cause of the slowdown of state economy. Further, the state's economy is still dominated by small-scale sector and low-quality services in the rural areas, he added.
Interestingly, Haryana has done much better than Punjab. The per capita income of the state at current prices has reached Rs 29,963 per annum in 2003-04 as against Rs 26,974 in the previous year. The economist said the state has succeeded in attracting global investors in auto, pharma and IT sector leading to exports of over Rs 16,000 crore from the state leading to high income growth.
On the other hand, Punjab has failed badly on the economic front.
According to the latest state-wise data, Gujarat (Rs.26,979) is likely to soon overtake Punjab on the front of per capita income, as the state's per capita income has shown a growth of 11.1 per cent as against much lower rate registered by Punjab.
Some of the lowest per capita income was recorded in states like Bihar (Rs.6,213), Orissa (Rs.11,858) and Madhya Pradesh (Rs.14,011).
The country's per capita income rose by 10.7 per cent in 2004-05, touching Rs.23,241 ($534), despite the poor performance of the agricultural sector due to a less than average monsoon.
The national income is estimated at Rs 25,356 billion in 2004-05, as compared to Rs 22,520 billion in 2003-04, showing a rise of 12.6 per cent.

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