GUWAHATI, Oct 25 - Assam will have to focus more on industry and services sectors if the economy of the State has to undergo a transformation, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya said today.
Speaking during an interactive session organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here today, the noted economist also said that once the 12th Five Year Plan gets over in March next year there will be no more Five Year Plans and the NITI Aayog will instead come up with three road maps focusing on the short, medium and long term goals.
Panagariya said that all the economically advanced economies, including the western countries and the recently advanced economies of East and South East Asia, passed through a phase which resulted in their economies now being mostly services driven.
�Urbanization, rising share of industry and services in the economy and rising wages in these sectors to incentivize workers to move away from agriculture are necessary for transformation. However, transformation has been very slow in India in general and Assam in particular� There is a need to pull more towards industry and services,� he said.
Panagariya said that Assam�s rate of urbanization is still only 14 per cent.
�In 1951, India�s rate of urbanization was 17 per cent. So Assam is still not even where India was in 1951. Even India�s overall growth or urbanization is very slow. There has been slow shift of the structure of economy,� said the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog.
He added that as per NSSO data of 2011-12, 56 per cent of the workforce of Assam was engaged in agriculture, 37.5 per cent in services and only 6.5 per cent in industry. However, agriculture�s share in the State�s GSDP is only 22 per cent.
�To transform ourselves, we have to make conditions conducive for industry. I see a lot of scope in Assam. At the same time, agriculture also needs reorientation, like in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat where focus has shifted on high value farm commodities, food processing and horticulture,� said Panagariya.