Himachal Pradesh growth rate pegged at 7.7 percent

February 14th, 2009 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Feb 14 (IANS) The economy of Himachal Pradesh is expected to grow at 7.7 percent this fiscal, higher than the national estimate of 7.1 percent, according to the state’s economic survey report.

“The growth rate of the hill state has been estimated at 7.7 percent, whereas the growth at the national level is 7.1 percent,” said the report, which was tabled in the state assembly Friday.

However, the estimated growth rate is lower than last year’s 8.6 percent.

“The state gross domestic product in 2007-08 increased to Rs.32,220 crore (Rs.322.2 billion) from Rs.28,603 crore (Rs.286 billion) in 2006-07. It’s estimated to be about Rs.36,940 crore (Rs.369.4 billion) this fiscal,” the report said.

“The per capita income increased to Rs.40,134 in 2007-08 from Rs.36,781 in 2006-07,” it added.

The state economy is highly dependent on hydroelectric power, horticulture and tourism, the survey said.

Himachal Pradesh’s hydropower generation potential is 20,416 MW - about 25 percent of India’s total hydropower potential - out of which only 6,419 MW has been developed.

Eleven projects with a combined generation capacity of 1,124 MW are under execution by the state electricity board, whereas 15 projects with a generation capacity of 1,738 MW are under execution by private companies.

Himachal Pradesh generated 6,229 million units of power in 2007-08, out of which 5,029 million units were sold outside the state.

Tourist spots in the hill state attracted 9.75 million tourists last year, including 377,000 foreigners, the report said.

Apple, the main fruit crop of the state, accounts for about 47 percent of the total area under all fruit crop cultivation and about 83 percent of the total fruit production, it added.

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