Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chandigarh's per capita income highest in India

Chandigarh has done it again! Leaving behind states with desirable metros and cities that seem to offer flashy lifestyles, it has walked away with the crown to be the country's jewel with the highest per capita income (PCI).

With its growth pegged at 11.49% monetarily and 6.39% in real terms, the coveted position comes to the UT for the fifth time in a row.

As per the latest figures released on Monday by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, the per capita income of Chandigarh for 2006-07 is Rs 99,262 at current prices and Rs 70,361 at constant prices.

Goa follows it with Rs 82,903 and Rs 54,850 for the same. Closest neighbour Punjab fares poorly with Rs 40,566 PCI at current prices and Rs 30,158 at constant prices.

Fortunately for Haryana, its scores are better at Rs 49,039 and Rs 35,779. The all-India figure for 2006-07 is Rs 29,642 at current prices and Rs 22,553 at constant prices. Delhi is rated third in the list, with figures of Rs 66,728 and Rs 50,565.

Tracing Chandigarh's trajectory RS Bawa, professor of economics, Guru Nanak Dev University), Amritsar, said, "The trend can be attributed to the overall character of the city which not only attracts well-paid executives but also retired top brass from the Army and other government departments." Calling it one of the most preferred places to settle down, he added, "It has an enviable infrastructure."

Even as the city can't boast of industrial growth, the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park has added to its attraction, drawing a lot of BPO units. "The city is likely to maintain its lead with improved air connectivity and more industries," said Bawa, ex-president of Indian Economics Association.

Throwing light on Punjab which has definitely lost its industrial edge, he added, "The government has taken some initiatives but these will take time to pay off. A large section of the industry has lately moved out of Punjab."

He also pointed out that the low paid strata of Chandigarh were concentrated on peripheral areas falling under Punjab or Haryana, much to the discredit of the two states. Interestingly, the detailed break-up of statistics proves that Chandigarh has moved away from the primary sector of occupation.

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