Northeast India comprises of seven separate but adjoining states, as well as standalone Sikkim, and is the most tribal region of India. Although the mountainous scenery is arresting, streams, rivers and falls nonchalantly melancholy, the tribal population being nature worshipper and humble the northeast region remains one of the least visited but fastest developing part of India and investments started following since Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) setup its North east Regional Office in Guwahati way back in 2000 after organizing 1st North East Business Summit in New Delhi graced by all chief ministers of NE states to attract investors. The then Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shree Atal Bihari Vajpayee had graced the 1st NEBS as Chief Guest and promoted North east India not only as tourist destination but also as an ideal investment destination with unlimited opportunities.
Northeast India shares 98% of its border with Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, and Myanmar, should be seen a trade and commerce opportunity than a political issue. Tourist numbers to the region have been dramatically increasing in recent years. Northeast India is the eastern-most region of India connected to East India via a narrow corridor squeezed between Nepal and Bangladesh. It comprises the contiguous Seven Sister States (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura), plus the Himalayan state of Sikkim. These states are grouped under the Ministry of Development of North eastern Region (DoNER) ministry of the Government of India. Except for the Goalpara region of Assam, the rest were late entrants to the British India, the Brahmaputra valley area of Assam became a part of British India in 1824, and the hill regions were incorporated even later. Sikkim joined the Indian union through a referendum in 1975 and was recognised as part of Northeast India in the 1990s. In terms of geographical size, Northeast India constitute about 8% of the total India’s size, and is roughly 3/4th the size of the state of Maharashtra. Northeast India’s population (all 8 states combined) is approximately 40 million (2011 census), which represents 3.1% of the total Indian population (1,210 million). Northeast India’s population size is roughly equal to the state of Odisha.
The Siliguri Corridor in West Bengal, with a width of 21 to 40 kilometres (13 to 25 mi), connects the North Eastern region with the main part of India. The region shares more than 4,500 kilometres (2,800 mi) of international border (about 90 per cent of its entire border area) with China (South Tibet) in the north, Myanmar in the east, Bangladesh in the southwest, and Bhutan to the northwest The states are officially recognised under the North Eastern Council (NEC), constituted in 1971 as the acting agency for the development of the eight states. The North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) was incorporated on 9 August 1995 and the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) was set up in September 2001.
Arunachal Pradesh, also referred to as the land of ‘Rising Sun’ is a federated state of India situated in northeastern part of the country. Arunachal Pradesh attained statehood on the 20th February 1987. It borders the states of Assam and Nagaland to its south and southeast and shares a long international border with Bhutan in its north-west (160 km), China to the north and north-east (1,080 km) and Myanmar to the east (440 km). Flanked by snow capped mountains, numerous rivers and lakes and inhabited by a large variety of flora and fauna, especially over six hundred species of beautiful orchids, the State is rightfully considered as "nature's treasure trove". With an approximate geographical area of 83743 sq. kms Arunachal Pradesh is considered to be the largest state in the North East of India, with Itanagar being its capital city. The economy is primarily agro-based, with major crops comprising rice, maize, millet, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, ginger, and oilseeds. The state boasts of a vast forest cover ranging over 68,045 sq. km. The rich biological diversity offers ample scope for development of horticulture, fruit orchards, bamboo, wood and rubber based industries, agro, food processing industries and pharmaceuticals. The extensive network of fast flowing rivers provides ample scope for development of hydropower which incidentally has so far remained quite underutilized. With approximately 1700 km long international border that the State shares with a host of Asian nations viz: Myanmar, China and Bhutan, opportunities existing for gainful trade and investment are unprecedented so much so that with proper socio economic development initiatives the State can truly transform itself into a highly effective international trade hub in the North East.
Economy of Arunachal Pradesh:
The state GSDP grew at a CAGR of 16.6% from 2004-05 to 2012-13, higher than the national GDP growth rate of 15.6%. Agriculture including livestock and animal husbandry, forestry and logging, fishing, mining and quarrying constitutes the primary sector activities, with a contribution of nearly 46.4% to the States’ Gross Domestic Product. Agriculture continues to be the mainstay for majority of the State’s population. ‘Jhum’ cultivation, which was primarily practiced by ‘Tribals’ has now given way to more mechanized farming processes. Rice, maize, millet, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, ginger, and oilseeds form the major crops of the region. Handlooms and Handicrafts form an integral part of the State’s economy, culture and tradition. A wide variety of Handicrafts are produced in the State mainly by the tribal populace. Most of the women population is engaged in handloom production within the State. Service sector has an annual contribution of 29.1% in Arunachal Pradesh. The state government of Arunachal Pradesh introduced the ‘State Industrial Policy’ in 2001 which has been refurbished as the ‘New Industrial Policy’ in 2009.
Arunachal Pradesh has made substantial progress in enhancing its literacy rate from a below par less than 1% rate in the pre-independence years to a formidable 67% in 2014. As per Census 2011 stats, in comparison to the national averages of 82.14% and 65.46% for male and female literacy levels respectively, the corresponding figures for Arunachal Pradesh are 73.69% and 59.57%, which is indeed commendable. In addition to a steady growth in the number of educational institutions in the state, 266 community schools have been set up in a phased manner since 1990-91 to provide pre- schooling, primary, non-formal and adult education. On the higher education front, the State has 3 deemed Universities, 16 degree colleges, 10 professional/technical colleges, 2 polytechnic institutes and 1 National Institute of Technology. Arunachal Pradesh Polytechnique Institute has been set up in Itanagar with World Bank Assistance. In addition, a number of vocational education institutes such as Health Training and Research Centre, Industrial Training Institutes, Gram Sevak Training Institute etc have been set up.
The health care services in Arunachal Pradesh are provided through a network of health institutions which include 3 General Hospitals (urban area), 14 District Hospitals, 48 Community Health Centres, 97 Primary Health Centres, 286 Sub-Health Centres, 55 Homeo Dispensaries and 2 Ayurvedic dispensaries and 2 T.B Hospitals functioning in the State.
Arunachal Pradesh has a wide and extensive network of numerous fast flowing rivers possessing enormous hydropower potential, estimated at an approximate 57,000 MW, leaving aside potentials from other sources such as oil, natural gas and coal available in its vast forest cover stretching over 60,000 square km.
- Small scale Industries
- Livestock and animal husbandry
- Handlooms and handicrafts
- Agriculture and food processing industries
- Tea and rubber
- Handloom and handicraft industry
- Electronics and IT based enterprises
Tourism-the Sunrise sector:
Endowed with an exotic landscape consisting of snow capped mountains, a salubrious climate, rich bio-logical diversity, an extensive network of fast flowing rivers, simple and hospitable people with their glorious heritage of arts and crafts and a wide mix of colorful festivals, Arunachal Pradesh, “nature’s treasure trove” provides the apt surroundings for a refreshing vacation for tourists. The State boasts of a number of tourist attractions. A large number of sanctuaries exist in the State to protect the diverse species of flora and fauna. These if effectively promoted can serve as effective tourist spots. Besides there are several other destinations as the Orchid centre at Tipi ,the historical sites of Bhismak Nagar and Itafort, the Second World War crematory at Jairampur, Pongcho Pass to view Lake of No Return across the Indo-Myanmar International border etc. which can generate adequate interests amongst the tourists.
The most vibrant of the seven ‘sister states’ of North East, Assam is the gateway to the North Eastern region. With a land area of 78,438 sq. Km. and population of 26.7 million, Assam enjoys the highest population density of 398 per sq Km amongst the (North Eastern Region) NER states [2011 Census]. The geographical position is an added advantage to Assam as it is surrounded by all the North Eastern states except Sikkim, making it the true gateway to North-East India. Assam is the lone state of NER that is privileged by good road and rail connectivity with 74500 Km of surfaced road and 2284 Km of rail-network. Mighty river Brahmaputra and the Barak are the major sources of inland water transport facilitating business and transport. The strength of Assam lies in its extremely rich variety of natural resources. The regal feather to Assam’s cap is the Assam Tea which is recognized worldwide for its malty flavor and unique quality. Assam alone accounts for more than 50% of tea production in India. Apart from tea, Assam accounts for 15% of crude output and 50% of onshore production of natural gas in India. Assam is endowed with rich reserve of important minerals like coal, granite and limestone offering a scope to develop full-fledged mineral-based industry. The state has monopoly over production of exquisite quality Muga silk which is endemic to this part of the country fetching huge domestic and overseas market. It is one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world with plethora of valuable resources like bamboo, cane, wood and precious medicinal plants.
Economy of Assam:
The real Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at current prices grew 13.2% from 2004-05 to 2013-14. In 2000-01, per capita income in Assam was INR 10,198 which accelerated to INR 14,421 in 2002-03 and further to INR 49,480 in 2013-14. Primary Sector (agriculture, horticulture, forestry, fisheries, mining, animal husbandry and other similar activities), provides livelihood to 70% of Assamese population and comprises 31.5% of GSDP. The main stimulant of Assam’s economic revival is sharply increased growth of the secondary sector (electricity, gas & water supply, manufacturing, construction, etc) which accounts for 17.9% of GSDP and double digit growth of the tertiary sector (IT&ITES, banking and insurance, transport, public administration and other services), comprising 50.6% of state economy.
To promote industrial investment in North East India, Central Government has implemented North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), 2007 under Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), effective from FY 2007-08. The Assam Government recognizes the need to foster economic development of the state and implemented Industrial & Investment Policy of Assam 2014.
There is a strong linkage between education and industry, providing much needed synergy in Assam. 5 universities including 1 agricultural university, 3 medical colleges and 5 engineering colleges including the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) are present in Assam. It also has 8 Polytechnics and 23 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). Other prominent R&D institutes are Tea Research Centre in Tocklai, Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET), North Eastern Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) under CSIR and Assam Government Ayurvedic College. The literacy rate in the state is 72.19% as per 2011 census. The female literacy rate is at 66.27% while the male literacy rate is 77.9%.
The healthcare network in Assam comprises 1 state level hospital, 22 district hospitals, 13 sub-divisional civil hospitals, 938 primary health centres, 4604 sub-centres and 108 community health centres. There are also many nursing colleges & training centres spread over the state. Further, National Rural Health Mission, the national flagship project, has been implemented through public-private partnership to provide better health care facility to rural people. Shankhar Nethralaya, the famed private sector specialty eye hospital has its presence over the state capital Guwahati. The Assam health ministry has announced 50 riverine public health centres in the districts of Barpeta, Dhubri, Goalpara and Darrang.
The consumption of electricity has increased over the last few years showing the increasing demand for power in the state. The demand for domestic consumption always stands above industrial or commercial demand although consumption for industrial purpose is rising gradually. In 2009-10, domestic sector accounted for 36.57% of total power consumption followed by industrial sector comprising 19.67% and commercial sector 13.79% respectively.
- Petrochemicals and mineral reserves
- Sericulture and handicraft
- Agriculture & Food Processing
- Medicinal Plants
- IT & ITes
- Bamboo Based Industry
- Poultry, Cattle Farming, Dairy
- Mineral exploration
- Oil exploration
- Jute based industries
- Olericulture (vegetable cultivation)
Tourism - the sunrise sector:
Tourism received a thrust in Assam’s industrial policy since 2008. With rare wildlife species, dense forests, lush tree gardens, natural scenic beauty and the cultural ethnicity, the state is apt to offer something new to the platter of each and every tourist. Being the crossing point of modernity and history, Guwahati is a charming tourist place endowed with religious temples, museums, monuments and lakes. With greater importance attached to tourism, Assam is poised to grow as a heaven of tourism. The various tourist destinations in Assam include Wildlife Tourism-Kajiranga National Park, Nameri National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Orang National Park, Manas, a wildlife sanctuary as well as Majuli on Brahmaputra which is a cultural and heritage tourism attraction. Kamakhya temple is a historic and holy Hindu temple in Guwahati which draws substantial number of pilgrim tourists each year. Brahmaputra and the Barak embrace the whole Assam and offer wide scope for river tourism. Presence of large number of tea estates and golf courses also adds to the list of tourist destinations in Assam.
The state of Nagaland has come into existence on December 1st, 1963 as the 16th State of the Indian Union. The state is bounded by Myanmar on the East, Arunachal Pradesh on the North, Assam on the West and Manipur on the South. The state is mostly mountainous except those areas bordering Assam valley. Kohima is the capital city of the state. A mountain range forms a natural barrier between Nagaland and Myanmar. Out of 16.6 lakh hectares, forest area occupies approximately half of the state. The Naga economy is primarily an agrarian economy. A combination of abundant rainfall, sunshine and rich soil conditions means tremendous biodiversity and abundant natural vegetation in Nagaland. Adding salubrious climate to all these factors, Nagaland has all the potential to grow horticulture and food processing industry with huge agricultural stock in her reserve. The abundantly grown bamboo resource of the state encourages bamboo-based industry which is gaining in popularity across states. The rich heritage of handloom and handicraft is another important contributor and an indispensable part of Nagaland economy. The ample natural resources offer ample scope for growth of food processing, floriculture, sericulture and mineral based industries to grow in to a full-fledged industry. The serene state with lush green forests, exotic lakes and valleys sets the platform for tourism industry to flourish by leaps and bounds.
Economy of Nagaland:
Nagaland missed out on the benefits of the First Three Year Plans. The state also suffered the consequences of continued insurgency. Because of these, despite tremendous efforts made in last 45 years, Nagaland is still confronted by many developmental challenges. Foremost among these are the inaccessibility, hilly and landlocked nature of the state and lack of infrastructure. Efforts are now being made to diversify the economy so as to make it more robust. This is reflected in high contribution of the tertiary sector to the State Domestic Product. Per capita income which is considered to be a measure of well-being of people of a state is also showing a considerable increase over time, touching INR 18318 in 2005-06 from INR 13819 in 2000-01, and further to INR 85544 in 2014-15. Despite possessing enormous business potential, Nagaland is one of the most industrially backward states of the country. Nonetheless, notable initiatives have been taken from the State Government and Central Government to promote this far-flung state as an attractive business destination. The state is reforming in terms of provisional capacity of industrialization. The Nagaland Industrial Development Corporation (NIDC), the state agency to promote business activities in the state, has developed industrial estates, industrial growth centre and export promotion industrial park with all the world-class infrastructure facilities required for developing industries. As of March 2013, Nagaland had 494 km of national highways. The state had 763 km of state highways and 22,095 km of rural roads, as of March 2011. In May 2013, the Indian government approved the four laning of the Dimapur-Kohima section of NH-39.
The mission of the state industrial policy is to facilitate rapid industrial development through enhanced investment, cohesive investment friendly environment, provision of infrastructure and institutional support, attractive incentive package and optimum utilization of existing resource in order to gainfully exploit the rich resource based economy. In this regard several incentives have been taken by the government such as the Incentives Schemes 2000 as well as North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), 2007 by the state and central governments respectively.
Nagaland has a literacy rate of 79.6 per cent according to the Census 2011; the male literacy rate is 82.8 per cent and the female literacy rate is 76.1 per cent. The Nagaland University (NU) offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degrees in science, humanities & education, social science, engineering & technology and management. Directorate of Technical Education was established in July 2009 to focus on technical education. In May 2013, the state government signed a MoU with Vision University, Republic of Korea, to upgrade the skills of the youth and create new opportunities through student exchange programmes.
Nagaland is another state in the North East where health care infrastructure is far from satisfactory. The situation demands huge public and private investment in Nagaland’s healthcare system. The state has received a major boost in its health care facility after inking the MOU with Medicines Sans Frontier (MSF), an international medical aid organization, in July 2010 for providing secondary healthcare services like training, supply of medicines, vaccination programme with facilities from the district hospital at the remote district of Mon. As of March 2012, the state had 11 district hospitals, 126 primary health centres, 396 sub-centers, 21 community health centers and 11 mobile medical units. As of August 2011, the state had 204 ayurvedic and homeopathic dispensaries and hospitals. Community participation in healthcare services has led to better maintenance and up-gradation of medical infrastructure.
Nagaland is one of the few states which have received 100 per cent village electrification, reaching the remotest villages of the state. The major suppliers of power to the state are NEEPCO, NHPC and PGCI. Hydro power development falls under priority areas of North East. Despite significant potential to develop hydro power plants based on the perennial rivers, the State suffers from power shortage problems. In sync with that, a number of mini and micro hydel power plants are proposed to be developed in Nagaland tapping the huge hydel resources. The state government has taken initiatives to exploit the vast potentials for developing power plants to harness power self-sufficiency at the grass-root level, and also to avoid high transmission loss and costs. A number of small hydro power projects have been identified by the State Government in places like Tizu, Mon, Doyang, Chizami. Chizami at Phek district has seen India’s first community constructed mini-hydro power plant, successfully commissioned in 2006, with the assistance from Nagaland Renewable Energy Development Agency. Under PM’s 50,000 MW Power Initiative, 72 schemes are selected for North East among which 3 are allotted for Nagaland with 370 MW production capacities.
- Bamboo based industry
- Handloom and handicrafts
- Agriculture and Food Processing
- Mineral based Industry
Tourism-The Sunrise sector:
The picturesque landscape, lush forests and evergreen valleys make the state recognized as “Switzerland of East”. It is blessed with salubrious climate, providing right environment for traveling and other adventure activities. Considering the immense scope of tourism in Nagaland, Government has taken new initiatives to develop proper infrastructure and a number of amusement parks, ropeways, resorts and hotels are coming up to welcome the tourists. Further, the relaxation of Restricted Area Permit (RAP) has increased the flow of international travelers on a year-on-year basis. Tourism offers limitless potential as the state is aptly referred as “Land of Festivals”. The HORNBILL festival, initiated by the Tourism Department, has emerged as an annual mega event where all tribes of Nagaland come together to celebrate, exhibit and sell their traditional dresses, food stuffs and decorative crafts. Three traditional festivals, namely, Sekrenyi at Touphema in Kohima district (Feb. 26-27), Monyu at Pongo in Longleng Sub-division (April 1-3) and Moatsu at Chuchuyimlang in Mokokchung district (May 1-3) have been identified as prominent sources for promoting the land of festival. The unique flora and fauna, ethnic tribal traditions and their rich heritage, proximity to Myanmar and last but not the least peaceful and pollution-free environment offers ample scope for development.
Manipur, literally meaning, ‘Jeweled Land’, is located in the extreme corner of North-East India, bounded by Nagaland in the North, Mizoram in the south, Upper Myanmar in the East and Cachar district of Assam in the West. Engulfed by nine hill ranges, the valley state is wondrously beautiful and enchanting. Endowed with exotic landscape and lush flora and fauna, Manipur has been referred to as the “Switzerland of East” with Imphal being its capital city. The state is small in size with a geographical area of 22,327 sq kms, which constitutes 0.7% of total land surface of India. The total population of the state stood at 2.7 million as per 2011 census. This far-flung state is inhabited by seven scheduled caste and thirty three different ethnic groups of schedule tribe communities, embracing a sundry socio-economic culture. Manipur can broadly be split up in two areas, the valley and the hill. The valley comprise of four districts namely Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur and Thoubal while the hill covers five districts viz. Senapati, Chandel, Tamenglong, Churachandpur and Urukhul. The valley area, covering only 10% of the entire state, provides habitation to about 62% of population. As a result, the valley is thickly populated with a population density of 631 persons per sq. Km. against 44 persons per sq. Km. in the hill. Endowed with vast agricultural and forest resources and significant mineral reserves, the state has immense potential to emerge as an industrial power house in future. The state, though power-deficient, offers ample opportunity in the arena of hydro-power. The 352 Km long international border with Myanmar helps to make the state a true international gateway for border trade with South-East Asian countries.
Economy of Manipur:
Manipur has shown explicit sign of growth in last couple of years with firm increase in state level GDP. The year-on-year growth rate of GSDP was highly inconsistent registering wide yearly fluctuations since the beginning of the decade, while the national average growth rate was on a rise in general. However, since 2006-07, the state GDP growth has stabilized and shown an upward trend. In 2011-12, State GDP Growth rate was far higher than the national average touching 10.76% against national GDP of 6.9%. The net per capita income for 2013-14 was Rs 41573 showing an increase of 10.40 % over the previous year. In Manipur, primary sector contributes 25.5% to the economy while share of the secondary sector is 30.4%.Tertiary sector comprises rest 44% of the state economy. However, a 4.73% share of manufacturing (a component of secondary sector) in state GDP clearly indicates the very low level of industrialization happening till date in Manipur. To foster inclusive economic growth and promote industrialization, the State Government reformed the old industrial policy to bring in the Draft Industrial and Investment Policy of Manipur 2012 (IIPM 2012). To promote industrial investment in North East India, the Union Government has implemented North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), 2007 under Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), effective from FY 2007-08.
Notable progress has been made on the educational ground over the years in Manipur. Number of educational institutes increased from 538 in 1951 to 3926 by 2009-10. In accord with the rising schools and colleges, the rate of literacy also grew by leaps and bounds, from 11% in 1951 to 79.8% in 2011. The number of institutes imparting technical and professional education has shown a phenomenal increase with growing presence of engineering & management colleges, agricultural institutes, teachers training centers, etc. There are 2 universities, 68 colleges for general education, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Science in Imphal.
Manipur is a state which enjoys relatively robust medical facilities apart from Assam in the entire North East India. Medical and Health care facilities are available through a network of 101 hospitals with a total manpower of 888 doctors and about 1055 nurses.
During March 2012, the total installed capacity of power was 157 MW of which 80.98 MW was contributed by hydro power, 71.27 MW by thermal power and 5.45 MW by renewable energy. However, the estimated per capita availability of power has been increasing over the years reflecting higher economic activity of the state, which was to the tune of 246 KwH in 2007-08. Under Rural Electrification Programme, Manipur has electrified about 85% village which is above the all-India average of 74.1%. The demand for power has increased on a yearly basis in Manipur, due to increasing developmental activity including education, health and higher usage of electronic products, among others. However, the availability of power could not be increased in tune of increasing demand, resulting in a widening power shortage in the state. This spells potential for renewable energy development initiatives in the state.
- Agriculture & Food Processing Industries
- Handloom & Handicrafts
- Information Technology
Tourism-the sunrise sector:
Manipur is naturally endowed with all the assets needed for developing tourism industry with special thrust on Nature Tourism, Sports Tourism and Cultural & Heritage Tourism. The state is a marvel with profound scenic beauty, various festivals, glorious cultural heritage, mosaic of tribal and non-tribal communities, bio and ethnic diversities and perfectly enjoyable climate and pollution-free environment. It boasts of an exotic landscape with gently undulating hills cascading rivers, green valleys and dense forests. The 500 sq Km Loktak Lake, the largest natural lake in the North East is situated in Manipur. There are many other tourist attractions available that need to be promoted including Keibul Namajo National Park, the only habitat of Brow Antlered Deer locally known as ‘Sangai’, INA Memorial at Moirang, Siroy National Park at Urukhul and Khongjom War Memorial, where the last war of Manipur Independence was fought. The wild life sanctuary at Yangoupokpi Lokchao can be developed as a potential tourist spot. Five other places are in the process of getting Forest Department approval as Wildlife Sanctuaries. According to the Ministry of Tourism, 114,451 tourists visited Manipur in 2010. In order to encourage tourism industry in the state, the State Government has rolled on State Tourism Policy 2011 with special thrust on Culture Tourism, Adventure Tourism & Medical Tourism, amongst others.
The state of Meghalaya, formerly a part of undivided Assam, came into existence on 21st January, 1972 is a hilly strip in the north-eastern part of the country. The total area is 22429 sq km with a total population of 2.4 million. The state is bounded on the north by Assam and by Bangladesh in the south. Meghalaya is divided into seven districts namely, East Garo Hills, East Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills, Ri-Bhoi, South Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills. The city of Shillong, popularly known as the ‘Scotland of the East,’ is the capital of Meghalaya with a population of 260,000. About one-third of the state is forested. The diverse climatic and topographic conditions in the state support vast floral assemblages including pine groves in the higher elevations and mixed forests in the outskirts of the plateau. Meghalaya, with its wealth of mineral deposits is a storehouse of industrial potential. There are extensive deposits of coal, limestone, clay, granite and other minerals. The state, though power-deficient, has enormous potential in electricity generation. The varied range of flora and fauna, historical places and ruins of 4th century AD have all helped make tourism an integral part of the region. The Government of India and the State Government have announced several fiscal packages which makes investment even more lucrative. Meghalaya had declared a comprehensive IT Policy, Tourism Policy and Power Policy offering room for new business ventures and other opportunities.
Economy of Meghalaya:
Over the years, Meghalaya’s growth rate has lagged behind the national average. In 2007-08, India registered 8.80% NDP growth rate whereas Meghalaya managed a modest growth rate of 5.42%. Per capita NSDP (at current prices) in Meghalaya has risen from Rs 14355 in 1999-2000 to Rs 69516 in 2014-15, whereas that of India has increased from Rs 15881 to Rs 63293 during the same time-frame. As far as growth rate of per-capita income is concerned, Meghalaya has registered lower rates of growth compared to the national average. Per Capita NSDP grew from Rs 27039 in 2004-15 to Rs 39503 in 2014-15. Focusing on the sectoral composition of income during 2007-08, it is observed that the primary sector is less dominant in Meghalaya than in the rest of the country. Agriculture and allied activities contribute only 18.70% to Meghalaya’s NSDP whereas its share in the country’s NDP stands at 21.67%. This is particularly interesting in the context that Meghalaya, being an agrarian state with a large forest cover, has a lower income share in the state’s revenue, thus pointing out the low-value of crop cultivation. In contrast, the secondary sector has a marginally higher share in state income (26.39%) than in the country (25.9%). The tertiary sector contributes the most to both state and national income, although the contribution at the state level (54.90%) is higher than the contribution at the national level (52.42%).
With a view to take advantage of the liberalized economic scenario in the country, and also to keep pace with developments in the national industrial sector, Government of Meghalaya has framed the State Industrial Policy, 1997. In addition to this, Meghalaya has separate sector specific policy framework, namely, State Tourism Policy, 2001; IT Policy, 2004; Meghalaya Power Policy, 2007 and Draft Mining Policy, 2009.
The foundation of modern education in the state was laid by the Christian Missionaries in the 19th century. The state government plays a promotional role in supplementing the efforts of the community by extending liberal grant to recognized schools either under deficit or adhoc system. There are 14 Universities, 65 Colleges, 3 Polytechnics, 5630 Lower Primary Schools, 982 Upper Primary Schools, 845 Secondary Schools and 163 Higher Secondary Schools. Upper primary education has reached 70% of the rural areas and there are 410 High and Higher Secondary Schools and 42 Colleges in the state.
According to the status paper prepared by the Health Department, even though there has been a steady improvement in health infrastructure, about 42.3% of the state’s population is still uncovered by healthcare amenities. There were 10 district hospitals, 109 primary health centres, 29 community health centres and 405 sub-centres, as on March 2011.
Meghalaya is a power-deficient state. Electricity generation within the state has failed to keep up with the demand from rapid industrialization and improved standard of living. However, Meghalaya has the largest hydro-electricity potential in North- East India, second only to Arunachal Pradesh. As per NEC estimates, NER possesses a hydro-electricity potential of about 30,000 MW which is almost one-third of the total potential of the country. Out of this, Meghalaya alone has a potential to generate 1,200 MW. The generation, transmission, transformation and distribution of electricity are entrusted to the Meghalaya State Electricity Board, which was constituted under the Electricity Supply Act, 1948. At present there are five hydel power stations and one mini hydel plant.
- Agro and food processing
- Mineral-based Industry – Limestone, Clay, Coal and Granite
- Small-scale manufacturing
- Chemicals industry
- Electronics and precision engineering,
- Forest and plywood products and
- Leather industry
Tourism-the Sunrise sector:
Meghalaya is a state which can rival any resort in the country by its beauty and charm that nature has bestowed upon her. The lovely waterfalls, lush-green landscape, scenic lakes and buildings ranging from the quaint to the imposing, would instill in any tourist a sense of wonderment. Some of the places of tourist importance include Lady Hydari Park and Ward’s Lake in Shillong, Shillong Peak, Sohra (Cherrapunjee), Umiam Lake, Jarain Pitcher Plant Lake, Thadlaskein Lake, Nohkalikai Falls, Elephant Falls, tyrchi Falls, Pelga Falls, Sweet Falls, Mawphlang Sacred Forest, Nongkhnum Island, Jakrem Hot Spring, etc. Sohra is a favourite must-see tourist destination and is the wettest place on earth with an annual average rainfall of 11,500 mm. The slopes of Sohra towards Bangladesh are famous for its orange orchards, honey and living root bridges which are very rarely to be found elsewhere in the world. Meghalaya is a land of caves and caverns, many of which have not been explored and mapped till date. Of the caves already surveyed, five of them have the distinction of being the longest known caves in the Indian sub-continent. Krem Laitprah Um lm-Ladit, Krem Kotsati-Umlawan, Synrang pamiang, Krem Umthloo, Krem Chympe, Mawmluh, Krem Lymput, Tetengkol Balwakol and Siju Dobhakol are some of the well-known caves in the state.
Mizoram is one of the eight states in the North Eastern region of India. The state shares more than 70 per cent of its border with Myanmar and Bangladesh. After becoming the 23rd State of the Republic of India, Mizoram has made remarkable progress in social sector development. Though it is the smallest state in the NER, in terms of population, with less than a million people, Mizoram ranks second only to Kerala in terms of literacy rate amongst all Indian states. The state has attained exceptionally good performance in terms of infant mortality rate and death rate. The state has achieved remarkable social achievements, has strong base of rich natural reserves, unpolluted environment and peaceful stable political atmosphere give it every chance to establish itself in the industrial map of the country. The varied basket of agro and horticultural products, handicrafts and handloom, sericulture, educated and English speaking youth are some inherent competitive advantage the state possesses to propel industry-led growth. The physical proximity to two Asian neighbours makes its location strategically significant to establish border trade. Blend of right policies and strategies, both from the State and Central Government are vital for economic growth and development of this state.
Economy of Mizoram:
The per capita income of Mizoram grew 20.4% year over year to Rs 76120 in 2013-14. Mizoram continues to remain an industrially backward state. The contribution of manufacturing hardly accounts for 2 percent of GSDP. In terms of composition of the state economy, service sector accounts for the largest share with a contribution of 66.1 percent in GSDP in 2012-13, followed by industry and agriculture contributing 16.4% and 17.4 % respectively. Activities like tailoring, furniture making, automobile repairing, bakery, handicrafts and handloom weaving account for more than 80% of the total number of enterprise/industrial units in the state. Service sector has remained the main engine of growth for Mizoram, courtesy impressive growth witnessed by real estate & business services, followed by industry with an average contribution of over 30 percent. The contribution of agriculture and allied sector to real GSDP growth, which stood at over 17 percent in 2004-05 and 2005-06, fell to an average of around 7 percent in the last three years.
To accelerate growth of industries, the New Industrial Policy of Mizoram was announced in the year 2000. The new policy envisions exploring the potential lying in competitive sectors like agriculture, horticulture, food processing, bamboo and timber based industries, handloom and handicrafts, tourism, sericulture and power. To promote industrial investment in North East, Central Government has implemented North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), 2007 under Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), effective from FY 2007-08.
Mizoram is among the top ranking states in the country in terms of literacy rate. Mizoram has a literacy rate of 91.6 per cent according to the final data of Census 2011; the male literacy rate is 93.4 per cent and the female literacy rate is 89.3 per cent. Gross enrolment ratio at the primary and middle-school level has been high, indicating low number of students dropping out. Besides universities and colleges, there are other institutes for higher education such as College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry under Central Agriculture University, Regional Institute of Para-Medical and Nursing Sciences (RIPANS) and National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT).
The state has 11 government hospitals, 12 community health centres, 57 primary health centres and 370 primary health sub-centres. The State Referral Hospital, for which the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) had approved US$ 9.2 million, was inaugurated on 10 December 2012. To encourage medical education in the state, government started Mizoram College of Nursing, Aizawl and Nursing School Lunglei. The government has proposed to set up a medical college at the Falkwan referral hospital in Mizoram. The state government has initiated Vanaspati Van project to enhance availability of herbal medicines to the rural population. The North Eastern Council (NEC) under the Ministry of Development for North Eastern Region is undertaking the following projects in Aizwal district in the state: development and implementation of Hospital Management Information System at Civil Hospital at a cost of US$ 0.8 million, blood bank at Bethesda Hospital & Research Centre at a cost of US$ 0.5 million, strengthening the cardiology department at Civil Hospital at a cost of US$ 0.8 million.
Mizoram has potential for developing 4,500 MW of hydropower, of which only 34.3 MW has been installed as of June 2014. Mizoram is hit by increasing power demand and concomitant increase in power shortage. Regarding power consumption, only 7% of the total energy demand of the State is met from within the state and the remaining 93% is imported mainly from Central Sector (NEEPCO, NHPC) and TSECL. The power peak load requirement in Mizoram for 2007-08 is 60 MW while the total installed capacity is only 37.17 MW. One of the major reasons for power shortage is that hydel projects can operate to its optimum capacity during monsoon season only.
- Agriculture & Food Processing
- Bamboo based industry
- Mines and Minerals
- Handloom and Handicraft:
- IT & ITes
- Renewable Energy
Tourism-the sunrise sector:
The encouraging feature of Mizoram tourism is that there is steady year-on-year growth of tourism industry in Mizoram. The revenue generated from Tourist lodge, highway restaurants and picnic spots during 2007-08 was Rs 86.41 lakhs. Aizwal, Tamdil, Vantawng Falls, Champhai, Lunglei, Phawngpui, Dampa Sanctuary, Palak Lane, Rejek hill are some of the major tourist destinations in Meghalaya.
Tripura, located in southwest of North Eastern Region, merged with Indian Union after independence and became a Union Territory in 1963 while it achieved the status of a State only in 1972. Tripura is a tiny state with land area of 10,492 Sq Km of which 60% is forested and hilly. Agartala is the capital as well as the largest city of Tripura. Almost 83% of State’s population resides over rural areas. Tripura is a state that offers right blend of geographic and social advantage to nurture many labour-intensive industries like rubber, bamboo, tea, handicrafts, etc. The remarkable political stability is another stimulant to draw investments towards the state’s direction. Not only local investors, but the foreign firms are also slowly queuing up to invest here. Nonetheless, the present level of industrial activity is miniscule of Tripura’s true potential. The core advantage of the state lies in its natural resources, cheap and abundant labour, educated youth, favourable climate for agriculture and its extremely crucial location for international trade.
Economy of Tripura:
The state GDP has grown at a CAGR of 8.5% from 2004-05 to 2014-15. Per capita income is commendably high in Tripura, at Rs 71666 in 2014-15(Base year 2011-12), up from Rs. 47079 in 2011-12. Agriculture is the prime source of livelihood in Tripura and the primary sector (agriculture, horticulture, forestry, fisheries, animal husbandry and other similar activities) contributes 25% of total GSDP. Contribution of the secondary sector (manufacturing, construction and processing industries) is 16% while tertiary sector (all service industries) contributes 59% of total GSDP [Economic Review Tripura 2006-07].The state scores reasonably well in terms of socio-economic indicators. During 2013-14 the volume of trade was Rs. 230.24 crore. Export from Tripura mainly consists of primary products. The main items of exports are dry fish, animal skin and fresh ginger.
To promote industrial investment in North East, Central Government has implemented North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), 2007 under Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), effective from FY 2007-08. The State Government also offers incentives to set up industrial units in Tripura which are provided under Tripura Industrial Investment Promotion Incentives Scheme, 2012.
Tripura has made comprehensive progress in educational front in a sustainable way. Free education is provided to all students up to Class XII in state-run schools. The State has been spending 12-14% of its annual budget for school education subsector. The "Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009" has come into effect from April 2010 to provide free and compulsory education to children in the age group of 6-14 years. Elementary education, consisting of primary (I-V) and upper primary or middle (VI-VIII) is the main basis of education, which is successfully covered under "Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan" and "Mid-day meal" schemes in the State. The secondary (IX-X) education is covered through "Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan" and higher secondary education (XI-XII) has also witnessed a phenomenal expansion in the State. The State Government launched time bound "Saakshar Bharat Mission" in the Dhalai District in 2010-11 and special "Adult Literacy Programme" in the remaining seven districts.
The state government of Tripura has implemented “State Population Policy 2000” in August 2001. In 2014-15, there were 24-Hospitals, 20-Rural Hospitals and Community Health Centres, 91-Public Health Centres, 1126-SubCentres/ Dispensaries including Homeo/Ayurvedic clinics, 6- Blood Banks and 10-Blood Storage centers in the State. In addition to the basic facilities, the State government has been giving thrust to expand and strengthen the homeopathic and ayurvedic system of medical services as a complement to the modern medical facilities especially to the poor in the rural areas.
Being endowed with natural gas, thermal power is the main source of power generation in Tripura, accounting for 94% of total power generation. Rest 6% is covered by hydro power. The installed capacity of power generation was 152 MW and power generated within the State was 756.92 MU in 2014-15. The power purchased from Central Sector (Grid) was 1046.52 MU and total unit sold to ultimate consumers in 2014-15 was 1124.34 MU in 2014-15.
- IT and ITES
- Natural Gas
Tourism - The Sunrise sector:
Tripura has immense tourism potential with her little known flora and fauna, many Hindu and Buddhist temples and unexplored scenic beauty. Nature is almost untouched with its serenity here which can be the hallmark for tourism industry in Tripura. Moreover, Tourism has significant linkages to other industries leading to multiplier effect in employment, income and output. Hotel, tourist guiding, transportation and telecommunication are most prominent among related industries, creating huge employment opportunity for local people. With diverse biological and cultural variance in its possession, the state is ideally poised to grow as Eco-tourism hot spot. With its beautiful tea gardens, Tripura can go for Tea tourism by building exotic hotels, resorts and other amenities for tourists. Number of Hindu and Buddhist temples, rich history and culture sharpens Tripura’s advantage to grow Heritage Tourism as well.
Sikkim is a small mountainous State in the Eastern Himalaya extending approximately 114 km from North to South and 64km from East to West, with a total geographical area of 7096 sq.km. It is surrounded by vast stretches of Tibetan plateau of the People’s Republic of China in the North, Bhutan and Chumbi Valley of the People’s Republic of China in the East, Darjeeling district of West Bengal in the South and Nepal in the West. Sikkim is the least populous state in India and the second smallest after Goa. The economy is largely agrarian, based on traditional farming methods on terraced slopes. The rural populace is engaged in the production of a variety of crops such as cardamom, ginger, oranges, tea and orchids. Rice is grown on terraced hillsides in the southern reaches. As far as industry is concerned, breweries, distilleries, pharma and precision engineering constitute the major ones which are located in the southern reaches of the state, primarily in Melli and Jorethang. Sikkim is also blessed with rich mineral reserves, namely, copper, dolomite, limestone, graphite, mica, iron and coal. Moreover, with improvement in infrastructure, tourism is slated to be the mainstay of Sikkim’s economy.
Economy of Sikkim:
Sikkim is one of the special category states in the country and is also the 8th member of the North-Eastern Council. Sikkim is divided into four districts, namely East Sikkim, West Sikkim, North Sikkim and South Sikkim with Gangtok, Geyzing, Mangan and Namchi being the respective district capitals. Sikkim has been consistently registering a steady rate of economic growth over the last few years. Comparing the growth rates of India’s GDP and Sikkim’s GSDP at constant prices, it can be inferred that the state’s growth experience has been in tune with that of the national average. Sikkim has managed to post a healthy growth in last few fiscal years. Per capita income (at current prices) in Sikkim has risen from Rs 14890 in 1999-00 to Rs 176491 in 2013-14, whereas that of India has increased from Rs 15881 to Rs 86879 during the same time-frame. Sikkim, notwithstanding a small state, has done exceptionally well in this parameter to outpace the national average. Focusing on the sectoral composition of income it is observed that the primary sector is less dominant in Sikkim than in the rest of the country. Around 9.2% of state income is generated in the primary sector in contrast to the rest of the country where the primary sector has a share of 14% in GDP. This is particularly interesting in the context that Sikkim, being an agrarian state, has a lower income share in the state’s revenue, thus pointing out the low-value of crop cultivation. In contrast, the secondary sector has a higher share in state income (60.2%) than in the country (27%). The tertiary sector contributes the most to both state and national income (59%). Being a landlocked state, infrastructure and connectivity have been the most crucial challenges of development in Sikkim. The total road length of the state is 4,630 km including 62 km of National Highway. Sikkim’s only road link with the rest of the country is the National Highway 31A (NH 31A). The nearest railway station of Sikkim is in Siliguri/ New Jalpaiguri. The closest air-link with the state is through Bagdogra airport, which is around four hours by car from Gangtok. Moreover, helicopter link exists between Bagdogra and Gangtok.
The State’s Industrial Policy of 2003 has been poised to boost the industrialization at small and micro level particularly in areas of value-addition to the local resources. The inclusion of Sikkim in the North-Eastern Council (NEC) is likely to trigger off a major breakthrough in industrial activity in the state. Sikkim can make use of the expertise of various agencies and instruments attached to NEC on the industrial front, access both financial and technical institutions (such as North-East Development Finance Corporation Ltd) and take advantage of Central Government policies which are exclusively meant for the North-Eastern states. The Government has approved a package of fiscal incentives and other concessions for NER namely, The North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, 2007.
There are 749 primary schools, 244 Middle Schools, 126 High Schools, 3 Deemed Universities, 2 Polytechnic institutes and 18 Colleges in the state. Concerted efforts by the government towards the field of education have led to a substantial rise in its literacy rate which in turn has a direct bearing on poverty reduction.
Widely scattered population poses serious setbacks in providing timely and adequate medical and health facilities in Sikkim. The state currently has 4 district hospitals, 146 primary health sub-centres, 24 primary health centers, 1 central referral hospital, 1 district tuberculosis center and 1 center referral hospital.
Though the power sector has consistently received relatively higher share in plan outlay, the rate of increase in power output has not kept pace with the rapidly increasing demand. Sikkim has a peak hydro-electric capacity of 8000 MW with a farm base of 3000 MW, providing a huge potential for development.
- Agro and Food-Processing
- Handicrafts and Handloom
- Precision Engineering
- Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology
- Hydel Power
- Education and Healthcare Hub
Tourism - The Sunrise sector:
Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in Sikkim. Some of the popular tourist spots in Sikkim consist of Temi Tea Garden, Tsomgo Lake, Samdruptse, Khecheopalri Lake and Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden etc. Every year, lakh of tourists throng to Gangtok, Pelling and Yuksam to catch a glimpse of the captivating Kanchenjunga Peak. Sikkim has been following a policy of Development of Tourism Infrastructure in the public domain and that of Tourism Trade Infrastructure, consisting of hotels, restaurants, tourism agent and tour operators, in the private domain. The state is endowed with some of the rare varieties of orchids, flowers, fruits, rhododendrons, and butterflies as well, as the rarely sighted snow leopards, bears and many bird's species. According to Department of Information and Public Relations, more than one- third of the 5,000 flowering plants found in the country are located in Sikkim. Similarly, almost fifty percent of 1400 butterflies, recorded in Indian subcontinent, have been identified in the state.