The tiny hill state of Meghalaya has been emerged as the fastest-growing state in the whole country with a growth rate of 9.7% in 2013-14. The state has scored higher than the fastest-growing big state of Madhya Pradesh (9.5%) and several notches ahead of the national growth rate. The data has been released by IndiaSpend, country’s first data journalism initiative and a project of Spending & Policy Research Foundation based at Mumbai.
Meghalaya’s growth in GSDP of 9.7% was better than that of Bihar, which had a GSDP growth rate of 9.1%. Meghalaya has also India’s second-lowest unemployment rate (after Gujarat) with 0.4% in rural areas and 2.8% in urban areas in 2011-12. In fact, most of the Northeastern states including Meghalaya have done better than many developed states and are way ahead than the national average, the IndiaSpend research has revealed.
The eight NE states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and
Tripura – are growing fast, educating their people at a rate much faster than the rest of India, reducing their dependence on agriculture, and generally prospering.
In October last year, Meghalaya with a double digit compound average annual growth of 10.8 per cent and Rs 27,300 crore worth GSDP, had emerged as one of the most competitive states in the country among North East states.
In Meghalaya, the percentage of population below the poverty line was 17.1% in 2009-10 and fell to 11.9% in 2011-12. Although the number of people below the poverty line might be lower than the national average, the intensity of poverty in these states is much higher.