The economic growth rate of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur had recorded a rate lower than that of the Northeastern region’s average rate of growth, with a recent report by Assocham pointing out this disparity and blaming lack of speedy connectivity as well as safe and secure investment environment in the region.
“Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur’s economic growth rate is recorded at a rate that is lower than the Northeast region’s average growth rate. Arunachal Pradesh has recorded a growth rate of 5.4 per cent; Assam and Manipur have recorded a growth rate of 5.0 percent each,” the report said. The economic growth performance of the region as a whole recorded 5.9 per cent between 2004-15 and 2013-14, it said.
“Contribution of the agriculture & allied sector recorded a decline in 2013-14 as compared to 2004-05 while the industry and service have recorded significant improvements during the same period,” the Assocham report said.
Giving details, it said that the Agriculture & Allied sector contributed almost 20.6 per cent in 2013-14 as against 26.1 per cent in 2004-05. In comparison, the Industry sector contributed 21.2 per cent in 2013-14 as against 20.2 per cent in 2004-05 and the Service sector 54.8 per cent in 2013-14 as against 47.4 per cent in 2004-05.
The report also said that the sectoral growth performance of the Northeastern region suggested that the Agriculture & Allied sector had recorded 3.5 per cent growth during 2004-05 to 2013-14, the industrial sector 6.4 per cent growth and Service sector 7.5 per cent growth during the same period.
The Northeastern region, it said, had recorded a compounded annual growth rate of 16.8 per cent during 2004-05 to 2014-15, while rest of India had recorded a growth rate of 21.3 per cent during the same period. “This indicates that north east region has been given a lower priority by the investors as compared to the other parts of the country,” it pointed out.
Pointing out that most of the Northeastern states were largely dependent on Agriculture & Allied sector, the report said that development of the irrigation sector had not been given any priority in the region. “Most of the states have not received any investment from the public or private except Assam and Manipur,” it said.
The Assocham report which also analysed the three sectors in detail said the Northeastern states had not given priority to development of agriculture infrastructure and recorded negligible investment in irrigation development. “Therefore, both states and central government should take initiatives for irrigation development and also encourage private sector participation for irrigation development,” it said.
It also identified lack of fast and speedy connectivity (by road, train or by other possible means) within as well as between the states and efficient modes of communication responsible for poor industrial development in the region. “Apart from the connectivity development, states need to ensure safety and security,” it said.