ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Perspective on Growth and Distributional Outcomes in Uttarakhand

How far has Uttarakhand been successful in realising the pursuit of economic growth to improve the standard of living of the population, in general, and in mainstreaming the different social groups both within and without as a state in a federation? The measures of general standard of living and mainstreaming of the marginalised are quantified using the National Sample Survey cross-sectional estimates of household private consumption for Uttarakhand, juxtaposed with those for its parent state of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and the national context of India for 2004–05 and 2011–12. Uttarakhand seems to have done well in realising the goals in the national context, but it has a long way to go in mainstreaming the marginalised social groups in both rural and urban sectors within the state.

The state of Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh (UP) on 9 November 2000 to realise its potential of better development and administration for sustained growth. The region is unique with respect to its geography, which includes a share of 93% hills and 64% forests in total area and an economy that is characterised by regional imbalances as well as low-productivity employment, underemployment and unemployment. To facilitate its pursuit of development, the state was accorded the Special Category Status (SCS) by the National Development Council (NDC) in 2002.1 Uttarakhand is better off than India as a whole in terms of estimates of per capita net domestic product. The state’s economic growth rate has been higher than that of the country as a whole. During 2004–05 and 2011–12, Uttarakhand grew at the compound annual rate of 10.36% as against 6.74% for the nation.2 However, development efforts have been lopsided. The general perception is that some social groups and regions stand excluded from the mainstream in Uttarakhand and that there is an urgent need to arrest their marginalisation. Hence, it would be pertinent to examine to what extent the state has succeeded in realising the benefits of growth and inclusion of regions and social groups into the mainstream. It would be worthwhile to examine the process, touching upon opportunities for employment and income generation, and outcomes, in terms of welfare improvement. Issues related to employment and income generation have been dealt with elsewhere.3 This paper seeks to provide a complementary perspective in terms of final outcomes as reflected in estimates of household private consumption expenditure generated from the 61st (agricultural year 2004–05) and 68th (agricultural year 2011–12) rounds of the National Sample Survey (NSS).

The study seeks to provide a contemporary context by situating the findings in a comparative framework with reference to the parent state of UP, another SCS, that is, Himachal Pradesh (hp)and the national context of all-India. Given the national policy emphasis on inclusive growth and sustainable development, this study examines the rural and urban profiles of Uttarakhand within the framework of inclusive growth analysis.

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Updated On : 24th Sep, 2019

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