Socio-Economic Scenerio of Tripura
The economy of Tripura had suffered from disturbed conditions of extremism and insurgency over the last two decades, which directly hindered the human safety as well as economic development process in the recent past. The State has come out from that disturbed phase arising out of law and order since 2005.
The State is characterised by geographical isolation, poor infrastructure facilities, communication bottlenecks, inadequate exploitation of natural resources (natural gas, rubber, forest etc.), higher incidence of poverty, low capital formation, backward in industrialisation and high level of un-employment.
Natural gas deposits are among the most important feature of Tripura's natural resource base. Natural gas-based thermal power plants have already been set-up at Barmura in Khowai District and Rokhia in Sepahijala District. The 726.6-MW gas based thermal power project at Palatana near Udaipur in Gomati District has been started with help of Oil Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) and another 104-MW gas based thermal power project at Monarchak in Sepahijala District has been taken-up by NEEPCO.
Most of the parts of the State are rural and about 74 percent of the State's population live in rural areas. The upliftment of rural poor as well as improvement in the quality of life of the economically weaker section of the society has been one of the basic objectives of development planning in the State. Tripura is the second highest densely State among the north-eastern region after Assam. Over 60 percent of the States' area is classified as forest area leaving about 27 percent for cultivation. The State has many rain-fed, non-perrenial rivers and streams flowing into neighbouring Bangladesh.
The State scores well in terms of literacy, birth rate and death rate. It is evident from the fact that the State's birth rate, death rate, infant mortality rate, total fertility rate as well as literacy rate are above the national standard. Despite poor financial resources of its own, the State could ensure providing its share of liabilities against almost all the Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
For last couple of years since 2006, the state in particular and the country as a whole is experiencing high price rise. Infact, price influences both quantum and pattern of consumption. Price affects every individual and variation in price changes reflects directly in the economy. In practice, the price changes in goods and services effect different segment of people, differently.
The year-on-year inflation based on CPI for Industrial Workers shows that the general inflation has reached at 10.44 percent in March 2014 and in June 2014 it reached to 8.95 percent.
Low availability of infrastructure has made the process of economic development extremely difficult for this backward State. The NH-44, the lifeline of Tripura, is frequently disrupted in the rainy season due to landslides near Patharkandi in Assam and Sonarpur in Meghalaya which is a perennial problem for the State. The railway link is extremely poor, although Agartala the capital city has recently been connected with the railway network by metre gauge. Moreover, the State does not have any water transport system.
The un-employment situation in the State has assumed alarming position. Total job seekers in the Employment Exchanges of the State were 6,49,543 on March 2014. Increase in population and consequent addition to the labour force, the supply side of labour force continues to outstrips the demand resulting in rise of un-employment and under employment at an alarming rate.
Nature of the existing employment pattern in Tripura can also be revealed from the provisional result of 6th Economic Census-2013. It is found that about 4,04,215 persons were working in 2,37,902 establishments in 2013 against 3,85,708 persons in 1,89,423 establishments in 2005. Out of the total workers of 4,04,215 in 2013, 2,32,273 were in rural areas and remaining 1,71,942 were in the urban areas. As per the provisional report, the total hired workers in 2013 remained 1,57,650 of the total workers.
The maximum number of workers were found engaged in retail trade, followed by manufacturing, public administration, education, and other community and personal services in the non-agriculture segment of the State.
Per capita income of the State
The per capita income at current prices has been increased from Rs.24,394 in 2004-05 to Rs.31,111 in 2007-08 and Rs.50,859 in 2011-12 and to Rs.69,705 in 2013-14 (Provisional) with new base of 2004-05.
The Per Capita National Income at current prices during the said period rose from Rs.24,349 in 2004-05 to Rs.36,005 in 2007-08 and Rs.61,855 in 2011-12 and Rs.67,839 in 2012-13 and to Rs.74,380 in 2013-14(P).
2004-05 new base
2004-05 new base
| P=Provisional. A=Advance. Source: CSO, New Delhi & DES, Tripura
Main reasons for industrially backwardness
Tripura is industrially backward and main reasons for its backwardness are geographical isolation as well as poor road and railway connectivity with the main land of India. Low availability of infrastructure has made the process of economic development and industrialisation extremely difficult in the State. The un-organised manufacturing and service activities are only dominant and high in the State compare to the organised segment.
Liberalisation and reforms of the Indian economy started in 1990s with the proclaimed objective to accelerate industrial growth as well as maintaining the inclusive growth in the country has not given the much needed boost for industrialisation in the State.
The data of 6th Economic Census indicates a rise in economic establishments between 2005 and 2013 in the State, which are basically own account establishments, i.e., without hiring any workers.
Although, overall performance of the State's real economy remained impressive despite its several infrastructural bottlenecks and geographical isolation as well as higher inflationary pressure, but due to slow down of the national economy, the economy of the State has come under further fiscal stretch during the 12th plan period (2012-17).
Sectoral share in Net State Domestic Product
Agriculture, forestry and logging, fishing and mining and quarrying constitutes the primary sector; manufacturing (registered and un-registered), construction, electricity, gas and water supply constitutes the secondary sector and the remaining activities like transport including railways and air-transport, communication, trade, real estate, business services, public administration and other services constitutes the tertiary sector.
The sectoral shares of NSDP at current and with new 2004-05 series for different years are presented in the Table.
Overall performance of the State's economy
Overall performance of the State's economy remained impressive till 2013-14 despite its several infrastructural bottlenecks as well as geographical isolation from main land of the country even due to recent effects on the national economy as well as price rise. The economy of the State may come under pressure due to under assessment of the committed requirements of the State Government. As a result, State Finance has come under severe fiscal stretch and strain. Therefore, some strong steps are required to keep the present development process by efficient use of the available resources and curtailing the revenue expenditure among others.
Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP)
The average annual growth rate in real terms of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for 2013-14(P) was 8.9 percent. The similar growth trend is also projected in 2013-14. The Planning Commission, New Delhi has appreciated the efforts of the State Government for efficient fiscal management and persuing the economic growth.
It is revealed that there is a structural shift of the State's economy infavour of secondary sector from primary sector due to considerable investment and growth of the public sector construction work. Even then, the level of investment from private sector is yet to gear-up, which is evident from the fact that the contribution of the manufacturing sector is only 2.58 percent of the total NSDP at current prices. Therefore, there is need for higher private investment in the State which would also mitigate the un-employment and poverty to a large extent. The future investment possibilities as well as the trade with the Bangladesh may improve the trade and transport sub sectors in particular.
Priority sectors of Tripura
The Government of Tripura identified seven priority sectors for overall development of the State, these are:
i)Agriculture and Irrigation.
vii) Rural Electrification.
Annual growth rate of the State
The annual growth rate of the State which was 6.56 percent for 2002-03 has risen to 8.16 percent for the year 2005-06 and 7.16 for 2007-08, and it stood at 8.9 percent in 2013-14(Provisional). The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at current price which stood at Rs.4, 866 crores in 1999-2000 grew to Rs.9,826.02 crore in 2005-06 and increased to about Rs.11,797.07 crore in 2007-08 and further to Rs.26,809.59 crore in 2013-14 (Provisional). As result of the inclusive growth and economic policies, the constant effort being put for sustaining the high growth rate trajectory and as result, the per capita income of the State has risen from Rs.24,394 in 2004-05 to Rs.31,111 in 2007-08 and further to Rs.69,705 in 2013-14 (Provisional).
Decentralized Planning under "Bottom up Planning" Approach
The principal strategy of decentralisation in Tripura as adopted by the State Government is the area based planning on the basis of the available local resources and with active people's participation. During 1999-2000, the state Government launched 'Gramoday', the preparation of the village level development plan with people's participation after taking into account the available resources (natural, human and financial) in one district. And from the year (2000-01), this programme has been extended to the districts of the State. The villages under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council are also included in the Gramoday Programme.
With the similar objective of Gramoday, the State Government had launched during 2002-03, a new programme of resource based participatory planning entitled "Nagaroday", in the Agartala Municipal Council and in all Nagar Panchayats for the preparation of the Annual Plan 2002-03 and 10th Five Year Plan. The main objective of the Nagaroday programme is to ensure direct participation of the people in the process of planning and implementation with a view to provide better civic amenities and facilities to the people living in urban areas and for improving the quality of life, environment and economic condition.
The Gramoday and Nagaroday Programmes emphasize optimum participation of the people in the process of planning and implementation. The aim of effective participation of the people is not just giving importance to the suggestions, views and initiatives of the people in the formulation and implementation of plan schemes, but to enhance the level of their consciousness and self-confidence.
In Tripura, there were 328 Scheduled Commercial Bank Branches including RRB with total deposit of Rs.11,787.20 crore against total credit of Rs.3,757.40 crore at the end of March 2014. Out of these, the lone Regional Rural Bank (RRB) the Tripura Gramin Bank had 138 branches. The credit-deposit ratio of Tripura stood at 31.88 percent against all India similar credit-deposit ratio of 76.53 percent in March 2014.