Patnaik is right, Odisha is way ahead of Assam in terms of economic growth


By Tapan Moharana


Bhubaneswar : Recently Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has responded to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma on the later’s remarks on Odisha’s development, urging him to focus on addressing the needs of his own state instead of making ambitious promises in Odisha. The Chief Minister also highlighted the rising debt burden of Assam and emphasized the importance of prioritizing essential work in Sarma’s own state.

Speaking to the media Naveen said, “Several BJP Chief Ministers and cabinet ministers have been coming to Odisha and saying that they will make Odisha no. 1 state in India and they also are saying the same to several other states, that they will make the state no. 1…This makes the people of Odisha laugh,”.

With two chief Ministers at verbal confrontation over development issues of Odisha and Assam, it is worth analyzing the economic status of both the states.


Assam’s Economy:

Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP): Assam’s GSDP for 2023-24 was approximately Rs. 5.70 lakh crore (USD 69.25 billion), with a growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9% from 2016-17 to 2022-23.

Key Industries: Assam is the largest tea-producing region globally, contributing significantly to India’s tea output. It also has a robust petroleum industry and growing sectors in tourism, industrial estates, and food processing.

Infrastructure: The state boasts significant infrastructure, including 20 industrial estates and several integrated development centers. However, it faces challenges in power generation and distribution.

FDI and Exports: From October 2019 to June 2023, Assam received FDI inflows of USD 20.73 million. Its exports, primarily of tea and petroleum products, amounted to USD 415.62 million in FY21​ (Ibef)​​ (Directorate of Economics and Statistics)​.

Odisha’s Economy:

Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP): Odisha’s GSDP for 2023-24 was projected at Rs. 8.65 lakh crore, with an annual growth rate of 12.9%. The state has been transitioning from an agriculture-based economy to one more focused on industry and services.

Key Industries: Odisha is rich in minerals and has significant steel and aluminum production industries. Agriculture still employs a large portion of the population, but its contribution to GSDP has been declining.

Infrastructure: The state has developed industrial parks and special economic zones. It also focuses on improving connectivity and infrastructure to boost economic growth.

FDI and Exports: Odisha has seen substantial growth in industrial activities, which has attracted considerable investment, although exact figures for FDI were not detailed in the sources reviewed​ (Wikipedia)​​ (Directorate of Economics and Statistics)​.

Odisha is more economically vibrant than Assam

Industrial Base: Odisha has a more diversified industrial base with heavy industries like steel and aluminum, while Assam’s economy is heavily reliant on tea production and petroleum.

Economic Growth: Both states have shown significant economic growth, but Odisha’s economy is larger and growing rapidly due to its industrial investments.

Agricultural Dependency: Assam relies more on agriculture compared to Odisha, which is shifting towards industrialization.

Infrastructure and Investment: Odisha’s focus on industrial infrastructure contrasts with Assam’s balanced approach between industrial estates and agricultural support.

Overall, while both states have shown impressive growth, Odisha’s larger economy and diversified industrial base create a noticeable economic disparity compared to Assam, which still relies significantly on agriculture and specific industries like tea and petroleum.

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