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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: In presenting a rosy picture of the State's economy during the last fiscal, the Economic Survey 2018-19 had claimed that the State has moved up the ladder in the per capita income from bottom(25th) in 1996-97 to 16th in 2016-17. And the Survey went on to add that Odisha's stride is better than Chhattisgarh, UP, Jharkhand,
MP, Bihar and West Bengal.

Here, however, is a reality check. As per the data available with the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), the per capita income at constant prices (2011-12) was pegged at Rs 67, 522 in 2017-18.

A comparative analysis of per capita incomes of 19 major states reveal that Odisha's per capita income is 6th from the bottom. Only the perm capita income of UP, MP, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand were below that of Odisha.

The CSO data showed that per capita income at constant prices of Rajasthan is Rs 74,744., whereas the per capita income of Chhattisgarh was at Rs 68,543.

However, when the per capita income at current prices for the year 2017-18 was taken into consideration, then the State rank slipped further. Odisha had finished at 4th from the bottom.

The CSO 2017-18 quick estimates (QE) data revealed that Odisha's per capita income at current prices was Rs 80, 991. Only Bihar, Jharkhand and UP were seen lagging behind with a per capita income of Rs 38,860, Rs 63,754 and Rs 55,456, respectively.

A detailed analysis had shown that the growth rate of per capita income at constant prices in the State had stagnated at around 2.5 per cent in the first year of 12th Plan (2012-13) and a negative growth rate of around 1 per cent in 2013-14. The per capita income grew up only marginally (below 1 per cent) in 2014-15.

In the year 2015-16, the per capita income had shown some buoyancy as it grew by around 7 per cent. The growth rate in 2016-17 was 8.3 per cent. But the 2017-18 growth rate in per capita income was only 6.3 per cent.

"Negative growth in per capita income in 2013-14 was the Phailin-impact on farm sector, where the yield rate per acre crashed and farm growth tumbled down by -9.8 per cent. Growth of per capita income depends much on prospects of farm sector and mood of weather. This is the reality in Odisha," observed Prof Niraj Kumar of XIMB.

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