With his­tor­i­cal roots in the Kalinga em­pire, a 485 km coast­line and 20 per cent of In­dia’s min­eral wealth, Odisha can be­come the next break­out state, pro­vided it repli­cates the de­vel­op­ment of its coastal belt in its hin­ter­land

India Today - - THE STATE OF THE STATE - By Ajit Ku­mar Jha

At­tract­ing the high­est pri­vate in­vest­ments in in­dus­try—mainly in man­u­fac­tur­ing and min­ing—com­pared to other states and clock­ing 8 per cent growth rate be­tween 2003 and 2011, Odisha has dra­mat­i­cally re­duced poverty. The per­cent­age of pop­u­la­tion liv­ing below the poverty line de­clined from 60.8 per cent in 2004-05 to 39.2 per cent in 2009-10. The lit­er­acy rate has gone up by al­most 25 per cent from 1991 to 2011. Through ma­jor in­no­va­tions in dis­as­ter man­age­ment, the state suc­cess­fully evac­u­ated a mil­lion peo­ple dur­ing su­per­cy­clone Phailin in 2013. Yet, the pros­per­ity of its coastal ar­eas is in sharp con­trast to the poverty of the tribal hin­ter­land. If Odisha re­duces this gap through a green rev­o­lu­tion, it can eas­ily shed its BIMAROU (acro­nym for Bi­har, Mad­hya Pradesh, Ra­jasthan, Odisha and Ut­tar Pradesh, re­fer­ring to their poor eco­nomic con­di­tions) tag and com­pete with the more de­vel­oped coastal states.

The an­nual Ja­gan­nath Rath Ya­tra, the or­nately sculpted Konark tem­ple, the awe­some ar­chi­tec­ture of the Lin­garaja tem­ple—all con­jure up al­lur­ing im­ages of Odisha. With a two mil­len­nia-old her­itage of the Kalinga and Khar­avela kings, Odisha re­mains cul­tur­ally rich, but eco­nom­i­cally poor—a typ­i­cal BIMAROU state. How­ever, since 2000, with a new party in power (Biju Janata Dal), led by the vi­sion­ary Chief Min­is­ter Naveen Pat­naik, the state has dou­bled its growth rate af­ter 2003.

What trig­gered such a growth surge since 2000? One ma­jor cause is the be­gin­ning of lib­er­al­i­sa­tion in 1991, herald­ing the end of the li­cen­ceper­mit raj and eas­ing the en­try of new en­ter­prises. It was also a di­rect re­sult of the gen­eral boom in the coun­try be­tween 2003 and 2012, a spin-off from glob­al­i­sa­tion. How­ever, at 8 per cent, Odisha grew at a much faster pace than the rest of the coun­try dur­ing this boom pe­riod. This could partly be re­sult of a much lower base pre­vi­ous to 2000 com­pared to the more de­vel­oped states, but partly also be­cause of an in­dus­trial turn­around in the state

un­der a new lead­er­ship, es­pe­cially in man­u­fac­tur­ing and min­ing.

The In­dus­trial Pol­icy doc­u­ment of 2001 made a case for ag­gres­sive in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion by at­tract­ing pri­vate in­vest­ment. The BJD gov­ern­ment pro­vided land at con­ces­sional rates, gave tax con­ces­sions, ex­empted new in­dus­trial units from elec­tric­ity duty and ra­tio­nalised labour laws. In 2007, the Pat­naik gov­ern­ment came up with a new in­dus­trial doc­u­ment with the pur­pose of trans­form­ing Odisha into a vi­brant, in­dus­tri­alised state and pro­mot­ing it as a man­u­fac­tur­ing hub. A pol­icy state­ment con­cern­ing mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises (MSMEs) was ham­mered out in the MSME De­vel­op­ment Pol­icy doc­u­ment of 2009. The ob­jec­tive was em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion and value ad­di­tion. Such con­cen­trated ef­forts in in­dus­trial pol­icy ended up push­ing growth rates and in­creas­ing the in­dus­try’s share in the state’s Gross Value Added (GVA) to al­most equal of ser­vices.

Ac­cord­ing to The Econ­omy of Odisha, edited by Pulin Nayak, San­tosh Panda and Pras­anta K. Pat­tanaik, three fac­tors aided the state’s growth: mas­sive in­dus­trial in­vest­ment, fis­cal dis­ci­pline and ef­fec­tive dis­as­ter man­age­ment. “Many in­dus­trial houses were in­vited to set up man­u­fac­tur­ing units in steel, ferro-al­loys, alu­minum, and so on. This would have con­trib­uted to the growth rate,” ar­gue Nayak et al. “Sec­ond, fol­low­ing the ad­vice of the Fi­nance Com­mis­sion, the state fol­lowed an oath of fis­cal dis­ci­pline and Odisha turned into a rev­enuesur­plus state. Year 2003-04 turned out to be a piv­otal point in this re­spect. This would have cre­ated a con­ge­nial at­mos­phere for growth. Third, the state gov­ern­ment has taken some in­no­va­tive dis­as­ter-man­age­ment ini­tia­tives against cy­clone and flood since 2003. These ini­tia­tives seem to have mit­i­gated the neg­a­tive im­pact of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters on the GSDP (Gross State Do­mes­tic Prod­uct). This could also have con­trib­uted to the in­crease in GSDP growth rate.” Panda adds, “In­vest­ment in ir­ri­ga­tion since 2003 has also been rather high as have been wel­fare mea­sures for the poor.” Farm­ers’ in­come has dou­bled in one decade, says Ashok Dal­wai, chair of the com­mit­tee on dou­bling of farm in­comes, Union agri­cul­ture min­istry, and CEO of Na­tional Rain­fed Area Author­ity.

The tragic mem­ory of 1999, when al­most 10,000 peo­ple died in a su­per­cy­clone that hit Odisha, served as a les­son for the new gov­ern­ment that as­sumed power on March 5, 2000. Dur­ing Cy­clone Phailin in 2013, only 44 peo­ple died, thanks to an early warn­ing sys­tem be­ing put in place and a suc­cess­ful res­cue mis­sion that evac­u­ated over a mil­lion peo­ple.

Other economists, how­ever, are more crit­i­cal of Odisha’s de­vel­op­ment. Ac­cord­ing to an 2013 gov­ern­ment panel, headed by for­mer RBI gov­er­nor

Raghu­ram Ra­jan, which rec­om­mended a new in­dex of eco­nomic back­ward­ness to de­ter­mine states that need spe­cial as­sis­tance, Odisha was ranked at the bot­tom of all states. Bi­har was the sec­ond most back­ward. What was the cri­te­ria iden­ti­fied for back­ward­ness? The Ra­jan com­mit­tee had pro­posed an in­dex of back­ward­ness of 10 equally weighted in­di­ca­tors—monthly per capita con­sump­tion ex­pen­di­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, health, house­hold ameni­ties, poverty rate, fe­male lit­er­acy, per­cent­age of Sched­uled Caste/ Sched­uled Tribe pop­u­la­tion, rate of ur­ban­i­sa­tion, fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion and phys­i­cal con­nec­tiv­ity.

With 4.8 per cent of In­dia’s land­mass and 3.47 per cent of its pop­u­la­tion, Odisha’s GSDP is a mere 2.4 per cent of the coun­try’s GDP. Clearly, Odisha’s eco­nomic out­put is much below its re­sources and po­ten­tial. With the state hav­ing a coast­line of 485 km, spread from Baleswar to Gan­jam dis­tricts, and pos­sess­ing al­most 20 per cent of In­dia’s min­eral wealth, it’s a puz­zle why it is eco­nom­i­cally at the bot­tom of the heap.

Panda ac­cepts the ra­tio­nale be­hind the Ra­jan panel re­port, but ar­gues that eco­nomic growth is not a pa­ram­e­ter in the re­port. He says: “The Ra­jan panel re­port is on the ba­sis of 10 in­di­ca­tors, each in­di­ca­tor get­ting one-tenth weight. GSDP growth is not a pa­ram­e­ter here. They take per capita monthly ex­pen­di­ture. This is just like com­put­ing Hu­man De­vel­op­ment In­dex. Coun­tries grow­ing rapidly need not have high Hu­man De­vel­op­ment In­dex. How­ever, in over­all as­sess­ment, Odisha cer­tainly will be among the bot­tom five. Poverty has de­clined at a fast rate, but Odisha still has a high num­ber of poor. Per­for­mance in ed­u­ca­tion has im­proved, but it’s still worse than the neigh­bour­ing states. The Ra­jan panel re­port may be per­fectly con­sis­tent with the strong eco­nomic per­for­mance in Odisha in the last decade or so.”

Panda con­trasts the pe­riod be­fore and af­ter Naveen Pat­naik be­came chief min­is­ter: Be­tween 1950 and 1980, Odisha limped at 2.77 per cent rate of growth, below the Hindu rate of growth of 3.5 per cent for the rest of In­dia. In the 1980s and 1990s, its growth rate inched up to a low 4 per cent. Pat­naik took charge of a cy­clone rav­aged and eco­nom­i­cally bank­rupt Odisha in 2000. How­ever, when given a new di­rec­tion, Odisha’s econ­omy surged to over 8 per cent growth be­tween 200304 and 2011-12. Panda says that the pe­riod be­tween 2011-12 and 2016-17, how­ever, wit­nessed a de­crease in the growth rate—to 7 per cent in con­so­nance with a gen­eral slow­down across the coun­try, yet above the coun­try’s av­er­age of 6.8 per cent.

Com­par­i­son with other states

In­ter-sec­toral com­par­i­son and in­ter­state com­par­i­son re­veal the story be­hind both Odisha’s growth surge as well as the back­ward­ness of its hin­ter­land. The turn­around in its for­tunes is vis­i­ble in the chang­ing sec­toral share of GVA. The share of agri­cul­ture in GVA in 2015-16 was just 14.7 per cent. The share of in­dus­try and ser­vices in the state’s GVA was 42.6 per cent each in 2015-16. Un­like Odisha, the economies of most states are dom­i­nated by ser­vices, the ex­cep­tions be­ing Ch­hat­tis­garh and Gu­jarat, which are dom­i­nated by in­dus­try.

The spread of dif­fer­ent sec­tors—agri­cul­ture, in­dus­try and ser­vices—in a study done for an ear­lier pe­riod by Nayak et al shows the re­mark­able trans­for­ma­tion that the struc­ture of Odisha’s econ­omy un­der­went. Agri­cul­ture in Odisha’s GSDP de­clined steadily, from 55.7 per cent in 1982-83 to 26.67 per cent in 2009-10. The share of the in­dus­trial sec­tor, which was 15.25 per cent in 1981-82, in­creased to 28.8 per cent in 2009-10. The share of the ser­vices sec­tor, which was 29 per

cent in 1981-82, jumped to 44.53 per cent in 2009-10. In­dus­try grew ex­po­nen­tially from 2009-10 to 2015-16, equalling the share of ser­vices.

Rich in for­est, min­eral and wa­ter re­sources, Odisha is ideal for an in­dus­trial take-off, pro­vided other con­di­tions for the sec­tor are ful­filled. The state oc­cu­pies 4.7 per cent of the coun­try’s to­tal ge­o­graph­i­cal area but about 7 per cent of for­est cov­er­age, 10 per cent of wa­ter re­sources and 20 per cent of min­eral re­sources. Odisha has rich de­posits of coal, iron ore, baux­ite, dolomite, lime­stone, man­ganese and graphite. It has about 95 per cent of chromite, 92 per cent of nickel ore, 55 per cent of baux­ite, 33 per cent of iron ore, 24 per cent of coal, 20 per cent of fire clay and 43 per cent of graphite re­serves of the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment fig­ures of 2010-11.

Odisha’s lit­er­acy rate, at 73.45 per cent, is higher than of all BIMAROU states, ex­cept Ut­tarak­hand, at 76 per cent. How­ever, its lit­er­acy rate is 20 per­cent­age points lower than that of Ker­ala and 9 per­cent­age points below Hi­machal Pradesh. Fe­male lit­er­acy rate in Odisha is about 61 per cent, higher than of all BIMAROU states, ex­cept Ut­tarak­hand. The gen­der gap in the lit­er­acy rate is 19 per­cent­age points whereas the same in BIMAROU states ranged from 20.7 per­cent­age points in Bi­har to 30.4 per­cent­age points in Ra­jasthan. As ex­pected, the gen­der gap in the lit­er­acy rate of Odisha is higher than in de­vel­oped states, such as Ker­ala, where it is 4.5 per cent.

Fight­ing poverty

Un­til 2004-05, Odisha had one of the high­est in­ci­dences of poverty in the coun­try, but high growth rates turned around the trend. In 1993-94,

about 60 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion was below the poverty line, which fell by only 2 per cent till 2004-05. Since then, the state has suc­ceeded in re­duc­ing poverty sub­stan­tially. Be­tween 2004-05 and 2011-12, Odisha’s poverty es­ti­mates de­clined by about 25 per­cent­age points. The in­ci­dence of poverty in 2011-12 de­clined to below 33 per cent. When com­pared to other states, this is bet­ter than three—Bi­har, Jhark­hand and Ch­hat­tis­garh—and matches the per­for­mance of two—As­sam and Mad­hya Pradesh.

One of the rea­sons for high poverty in Odisha is its so­cial com­po­si­tion. About 40 per cent of the state’s pop­u­la­tion com­prises Sched­uled Castes (17 per cent) and Sched­ule Tribes (23 per cent), the two most poor and de­prived com­mu­ni­ties of the state. Poverty among the state’s SCs is the high­est in the coun­try; poverty among STs is sec­ond high­est, af­ter Ch­hat­tis­garh.

Poverty is high­est in the south­ern KBK (Kala­handi-Ko­ra­putBalan­gir) re­gion, fol­lowed by the north­ern ar­eas. In the coastal re­gion, the in­ci­dence of poverty is much lower. In 2011-12, the pro­por­tion of ru­ral pop­u­la­tion liv­ing below the poverty line in the south­ern, north­ern and coastal re­gions were 48, 40 and 22 per cent re­spec­tively. The north­ern and south­ern re­gions ac­count for al­most 77 per cent of the state’s poor peo­ple. While about 46 per cent of peo­ple live in the coastal belt, only 22 per cent are below the poverty line.

The KBK re­gion, which con­sists of the eight dis­tricts of Kala­handi, Koraput, Balan­gir, Nua­pada, Sonepur, Raya­gada, Malka­n­giri and Nabaranga­pur, is one of the poor­est in the state. The Au­gust 2016 in­ci­dent of Danu Man­jhi, a res­i­dent of Mel­ghara vil­lage of Kala­handi district, car­ry­ing his wife’s corpse on his shoul­ders for over 10 kilo­me­tres, since he had no money to pay for a hearse van, is a grim re­minder of the sit­u­a­tion in Kala­handi, which re­ported se­vere food short­ages in the 1980s. P. Sainath, in his book Ev­ery­body Loves a Good Drought, wrote about how par­ents were forced to sell their chil­dren out of ut­ter penury. The KBK re­gion, hold­ing 31 per cent of the ge­o­graph­i­cal area, is largely tribal, with 39 per cent STs and 17 per cent SCs.

The Odisha Direc­torate of Eco­nomics and Sta­tis­tics es­ti­mates district-wise ru­ral poverty in the state from the Na­tional Sam­ple Sur­vey 68th round in 2011-12. About 12 out of 30 dis­tricts in Odisha have 50 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion below the poverty line, al­most all in the KBK re­gion. More than 70 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion of Koraput, Ga­jap­ati and Raya­gada dis­tricts is below the poverty line. While Koraput and Raya­gada be­long to the KBK re­gion, Ga­jap­ati district is part of coastal Odisha, but has high in­ci­dence of poverty as it is largely tribal. In sharp con­trast, only 15 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion of Khordha and Cut­tack—both part of coastal Odisha—is below the poverty line.

Only about 75 per cent of to­tal house­holds have ac­cess to safe wa­ter, a record below all the BIMAROU states, ex­cept Jhark­hand. The health sys­tem in Odisha is mainly pub­lic with a very lim­ited role for the pri­vate sec­tor. De­spite se­ri­ous ef­forts by the state gov­ern­ment, the over­all sta­tus of pub­lic health re­mains poor. Life ex­pectancy (2010-14) in Odisha, at 65.8 years, is less than the na­tional av­er­age of 67.9 years. How­ever, among BIMAROU states, Odisha’s life ex­pectancy is bet­ter than Ch­hat­tish­garh’s at 64.8 years, Mad­hya Pradesh’s at 64.2 years, and Ut­tar Pradesh’s at 64.1 years. In­fant mor­tal­ity in Odisha is 40 per 1,000 live births, lower than the na­tional av­er­age of 41 per 1,000 live births and lower than all BIMAROU states, but it lags be­hind all the coastal states and the de­vel­oped states.

The growth surge in the state in re­cent years has not trans­lated into bet­ter Hu­man De­vel­op­ment In­dex. Only about 30 per cent of house­holds live in good pucca houses com­pared to 50 per cent house­holds in the rest of the coun­try. In terms of hous­ing qual­ity, Odisha is below all BIMAROU states. As per the 2011 cen­sus, only 23 per cent of the house­holds have ac­cess to toi­let com­pared to 50 per cent house­holds in the coun­try. Only 4 per cent of the house­holds in Odisha have ac­cess to closed drainage. Odisha’s record in san­i­ta­tion and avail­abil­ity of toi­lets is below that of all BIMAROU

states. Though the state gov­ern­ment has made se­ri­ous ef­forts to im­prove the health con­di­tion of the peo­ple, much ef­fort is needed to im­prove the health in­di­ca­tors.

State of the State anal­y­sis

With a firm be­lief that the fu­ture of the coun­try lies in its states and Union ter­ri­to­ries, the State of the State sur­vey has, since 2003, emerged as the touch­stone for analysing the per­for­mance of states. The sur­vey does a sec­tor-wise anal­y­sis at the district level. In­stead of be­ing a sub­jec­tive sur­vey of cit­i­zens’ per­cep­tions, the study anal­y­ses ob­jec­tive data. A de­tailed view of each district is pre­pared based on 10 cat­e­gories of de­vel­op­ment, each cat­e­gory be­ing a com­pos­ite in­dex of a few vari­ables. The stark dis­par­ity in the lev­els of de­vel­op­ment across the states is also prom­i­nent at the re­gional level, which calls for an in-depth anal­y­sis of each re­gion sep­a­rately. The State of the State re­port un­der­takes a de­tailed anal­y­sis of the in­tra-state sit­u­a­tion with re­spect to the lev­els of de­vel­op­ment, which is mea­sured across time, space and di­men­sions.

Odisha is ex­em­pli­fied by an in­tri­cate amal­gam of re­gions carved by na­ture and his­tory. The phys­io­graphic con­trast cre­ated by the eastern coastal plains, north­ern plateau, cen­tral ta­ble land and the Eastern Ghats has far-reach­ing im­pacts on the re­gional lev­els of de­vel­op­ment in Odisha. The tri­par­tite re­gional di­vi­sion of Odisha cre­ated by the Na­tional Sam­ple Sur­vey (NSS), which di­vides the state into north­ern, south­ern and coastal re­gions, is su­per­im­posed over these phys­io­graphic di­vi­sions.

The north­ern re­gion, largely plateau, com­prises 11 dis­tricts rich in min­eral re­sources. Mayurb­hanj, Ken­du­jhar and Sun­dar­garh dis­tricts, which form the iron ore belt, and An­gul and Jhar­sug­uda, which is the coal min­ing hub, are the con­stituent dis­tricts of the north­ern re­gion, which forms the min­ing-in­dus­trial belt of Odisha.

The south­ern re­gion, largely hilly, roughly co­in­cides with the ridges of the Eastern Ghats, and is com­posed of eight dis­tricts, out of which six be­long to the KBK re­gion, which is de­mar­cated as the poor­est re­gion of In­dia. The KBK re­gion, largely tribal, is marked by fre­quent oc­cur­rences of se­vere droughts re­sult­ing in crip­pling famines, high in­ci­dence and per­sis­tence of poverty and food in­se­cu­rity. There­fore, the re­gion is in­fa­mously la­belled as the ‘hunger belt of In­dia’.

The 11 coastal dis­tricts are the most pros­per­ous: Cut­tack, Puri, Khordha and Ja­gats­ingh­pur are the most de­vel­oped. The cap­i­tal city of Bhubaneswar, the most pop­u­lous, is lo­cated in Khordha district and boasts of 48 per cent ur­ban­i­sa­tion. Gan­jam and busi­ness cap­i­tal Cut­tack are the two most pop­u­lous dis­tricts of Odisha, af­ter Bhubaneswar.

While most of the de­vel­oped and bet­ter-per­form­ing dis­tricts in al­most all the pa­ram­e­ters of de­vel­op­ment are inevitably lo­cated in the state’s coastal re­gion, fol­lowed by the miningin­dus­trial belt of north­ern Odisha, the most back­ward re­gions be­long to the hunger belt of south­ern Odisha. Con­certed ef­forts at de­vel­op­ing these back­ward, tribal and hilly re­gions of south­ern Odisha have de­liv­ered pos­i­tive re­sults to some ex­tent. As a re­sult, the most back­ward KBK re­gion has shown sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in lev­els of de­vel­op­ment.

A district-level anal­y­sis of the re­cent lev­els of de­vel­op­ment and the decadal im­prove­ment in de­vel­op­ment of the dis­tricts has been un­der­taken for nine cat­e­gories of de­vel­op­ment—ed­u­ca­tion, health, in­fra­struc­ture, wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, agri­cul­ture, in­dus­try, ser­vices, pros­per­ity, law and or­der—as well as an ag­gre­gate cat­e­gory of over­all de­vel­op­ment. The dis­tricts with the best per­for­mance in each of these 10 pa­ram­e­ters have been high­lighted and dis­cussed in de­tail along with an­other set of dis­tricts that have shown max­i­mum im­prove­ment in their re­spec­tive

lev­els of de­vel­op­ment, in these pa­ram­e­ters, dur­ing the pre­ced­ing decade.


All 30 dis­tricts of Odisha have been ranked ac­cord­ing to their lev­els of de­vel­op­ment across cat­e­gories. The top-ranked dis­tricts in each cat­e­gory have been de­clared as the ‘Best’.


Gan­jam ranks sec­ond in teacher to pupil ra­tio, class­room to stu­dent ra­tio and in the num­ber of schools per thou­sand pop­u­la­tion. The ac­ces­si­bil­ity to ed­u­ca­tional in­fra­struc­ture, es­pe­cially for ele­men­tary ed­u­ca­tion, makes it the best in ed­u­ca­tional de­vel­op­ment.


Puri achieved the first rank in ma­ter­nal health pa­ram­e­ters (in­sti­tu­tional child de­liv­ery) and the sec­ond rank in fam­ily plan­ning pa­ram­e­ters (use of mod­ern con­tra­cep­tive meth­ods among mar­ried women of age 15-44 years). It boasts of a high level of aware­ness of fam­ily plan­ning tech­niques. About 88 per cent of chil­dren aged 12-23 months have re­ceived full im­mu­ni­sa­tion com­pared to the state’s av­er­age of 79 per cent.


The coastal district has the sec­ond high­est per­cent­age of house­holds with elec­tric­ity con­nec­tion. It ranks sec­ond in per­cent­age of house­holds re­sid­ing in ‘good con­di­tion’ cen­sus houses. Cut­tack has more than 50 per cent of house­holds with a tele­phone con­nec­tion and ranks fourth in tele­con­nec­tiv­ity. The district per­forms much bet­ter than the state av­er­age in ac­ces­si­bil­ity of bank­ing ser­vices, with over 50 per cent of house­holds avail­ing bank­ing ser­vices.

Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion— Khordha

Khordha has grabbed the first rank in three out of four pa­ram­e­ters of avail­abil­ity and ac­ces­si­bil­ity of drink­ing wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion fa­cil­i­ties. The district, neigh­bour­ing Puri, has the high­est per­cent­age of house­holds with closed drainage fa­cil­ity and toi­lets within the premises and the high­est per­cent­age of house­holds with ac­cess to drink­ing wa­ter within premises.


The district has at­tained the top rank in yield of ma­jor food­grains and sec­toral share of agri­cul­ture in GDP and ranks sec­ond in agri­cul­tural GDP per capita. In com­par­i­son to the state’s av­er­age, the district holds a higher

per­cent­age of net ir­ri­gated area to net sown area as well as per­cent­age of cul­ti­va­tors to to­tal main work­ers.


Jhar­sug­uda has the third high­est per­cent­age of work­ers em­ployed in in­dus­tries. It has per­formed way bet­ter than the state av­er­age in the other pa­ram­e­ters of in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment— sec­toral share of in­dus­try in GDP and the in­dus­trial GDP per capita.


Cut­tack records the sec­ond high­est per­cent­age of work­ers in­volved in the ser­vices sec­tor, af­ter Khordha. Its sec­toral share of ser­vices to GDP (68 per cent) is way higher than the state av­er­age of 49 per cent.


An­gul has the high­est GDP per capita, which is higher than the state av­er­age. Com­pared to the state’s av­er­age, the monthly per capita con­sump­tion ex­pen­di­ture and ru­ral ca­sual wage rate are bet­ter than the state av­er­age.

Law and Or­der—Bar­garh

Com­pared to the state av­er­age, Bar­garh has a lower rate of oc­cur­rence of crime—cases of kid­nap­ping and ab­duc­tion as a per­cent­age of to­tal cog­nis­able IPC crimes, cases of mur­ders as a per­cent­age of to­tal cog­nis­able IPC crimes and per­cent­age of other IPC crimes to to­tal cog­nis­able IPC crimes).


With Bhubaneswar, the cap­i­tal of Odisha, lo­cated here, Khordha emerges as the most ur­banised district. Of the nine pa­ram­e­ters of de­vel­op­ment, it ap­pears among the top five in wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, in­fra­struc­ture, ser­vices and pros­per­ity. Khordha is closely fol­lowed by Cut­tack as the sec­ond best per­form­ing district in over­all de­vel­op­ment.


The dis­tricts that saw max­i­mum im­prove­ment in re­spec­tive ranks dur­ing the pre­ced­ing decade have been de­clared ‘Most Im­proved’.


Bhadrak has shown the high­est im­prove­ment in ed­u­ca­tional de­vel­op­ment dur­ing the pre­ced­ing decade. Dur­ing 2005-06, it stood at a dis­mal 23rd po­si­tion among the state’s 30 dis­tricts; by 2015-16, it had clinched the third po­si­tion. Dur­ing 2005-06, Bhadrak was the worst per­form­ing district in terms of class­room to stu­dent ra­tio and teacher to pupil ra­tio. In 2015-16, it achieved the top rank in these pa­ram­e­ters. The district ranks sec­ond in the ra­tio of girls to boys’ en­rol­ment for stan­dard I-VIII.


Ja­jpur has im­proved its health rank­ing from 22nd to sixth be­tween 200204 and 2015-16. It has shown ma­jor im­prove­ment in the per­cent­age of in­sti­tu­tional child de­liv­er­ies, from 36.2 per cent to 94 per cent. The per­cent­age of chil­dren aged 12-23 months hav­ing full im­mu­ni­sa­tion has in­creased from 35 per cent to 90 per cent dur­ing the same pe­riod.


Kendrapara im­proved its rank­ing from 18th to fourth dur­ing the decadal anal­y­sis pre­ced­ing 2011. While the per­cent­age of house­holds with elec­tric­ity con­nec­tion has dou­bled, from 26 per cent to 53 per cent, dur­ing 2001-2011, the per­cent­age of house­holds with tele­phone con­nec­tion has also in­creased sharply. The per­cent­age of house­holds avail­ing bank­ing ser­vices has gone up from 24 per cent to about 60 per. The per­cent­age of house­holds re­sid­ing in ‘good con­di­tion’ cen­sus houses has in­creased from 22 per cent to 36 per cent.

Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion—Nua­pada

Nua­pada has im­proved its rank­ing from 28th to 23rd dur­ing the decade pre­ced­ing 2011. It has shown a sig­nif­i­cant rise in the per­cent­age of house­holds hav­ing toi­lets within the premises, from 6 per cent to 15 per cent, be­tween 2001 and 2011.


Raya­gada district held the 21st rank in agri­cul­ture dur­ing 2004-05, but by 2011-12 it had scaled to the 11th po­si­tion. It marked a no­table rise in the per­cent­age of net ir­ri­gated area to net sown area, which in­creased from 16 per cent to 35 per cent be­tween 200405 and 2014-15.


In­dus­try in Nabarang­pur, largely led by con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity, has im­proved tremen­dously, with rank­ing shift­ing from the 27th po­si­tion dur­ing 200405 to 10th dur­ing 2011-12.


The rel­a­tive rise of Sam­balpur from the 26th po­si­tion in 2004-05 to fifth in 2011-12, and the per­cent­age of work­ers em­ployed in the ser­vices sec­tor in­creas­ing from 6 per cent to 37 per cent for the same pe­riod makes it the most im­proved district in ser­vices.


Sam­balpur’s rank has im­proved from 17th in 2004-05 to fifth in 201112. While the Monthly Per Capita Con­sump­tion Ex­pen­di­ture (MPCE) in­creased from Rs 365 to Rs 1,383 dur­ing 2004-05 to 2011-12, mark­ing an im­prove­ment in rank from 21st to sec­ond in terms of MPCE, the ru­ral ca­sual wages im­proved from Rs 26 to Rs 94 dur­ing the same pe­riod. Sam­balpur im­proved from 28th to 25th po­si­tion in terms of ru­ral ca­sual wages. It has wit­nessed a high in­crease in GDP per capita from Rs 40,907 to Rs 67,542 although its rel­a­tive rank­ing im­proved from sixth to fifth po­si­tion in this vari­able.

Law and Or­der—Ja­gats­ingh­pur

Ja­gats­ingh­pur has shown the high­est im­prove­ment in main­te­nance of law and or­der be­tween 2004-05 and 201112. From hold­ing the 24th rank dur­ing 2004-05, the district rose to fourth rank by 2011-12. The district im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly in terms of low­est re­ported cases of kid­nap­ping and ab­duc­tion as a per­cent­age of the to­tal cog­nis­able crimes wherein the rel­a­tive rank of the district im­proved from 29th po­si­tion dur­ing 2004 to 10th po­si­tion dur­ing 2014. In terms of the low­est re­ported cases of rapes as a per­cent­age of to­tal cog­nis­able crimes, the rel­a­tive rank of the district im­proved from 11th dur­ing 2004 to fourth dur­ing 2014. In terms of the low­est re­ported cases of other In­dian Pe­nal Code (IPC) crimes as per­cent­age of the to­tal cog­nis­able crimes, the district’s rel­a­tive rank im­proved from 17th to 14th.


Ja­gats­ingh­pur’s rank has im­proved from the ninth po­si­tion to third in over­all de­vel­op­ment. The rank­ing has im­proved markedly in five out of the pa­ram­e­ters of over­all de­vel­op­ment— wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, in­fra­struc­ture, agri­cul­ture, in­dus­try and pros­per­ity. In wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, the rel­a­tive rank of the district im­proved from ninth to fourth dur­ing the decade. The rank­ing im­proved from 11th to third in in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ment. The district made sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment, in which the rel­a­tive rank im­proved from 20th to eighth. In agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment, the rel­a­tive rank im­proved from 10th to fourth. In terms of pros­per­ity, the district im­proved from sev­enth to sixth po­si­tion.

The way for­ward

Why was eco­nomic growth slow in Odisha be­fore 2000? The main rea­sons for the slug­gish growth in the in­dus­trial and min­ing sec­tors

be­fore 2000 were po­lit­i­cal in­ep­ti­tude, large-scale cor­rup­tion by the po­lit­i­cal elite, bu­reau­cratic ap­a­thy, low rate of in­dus­trial in­vest­ment and lack of an en­trepreneurial cul­ture among the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion. The Congress gov­ern­ment of J.B. Pat­naik got em­broiled in sev­eral scams.

What con­trib­uted to such a dra­matic surge in growth rates af­ter 2000? Po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity for 17 long years un­der the lead­er­ship of Naveen Pat­naik,

who is widely con­sid­ered as hon­est and com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ment by the peo­ple, is the main rea­son. The In­dus­trial Pol­icy doc­u­ments of 2001 and 2007 as well as the MSME de­vel­op­ment pol­icy of 2009 un­leashed tremen­dous growth in in­dus­try and min­ing. Such con­cen­trated ef­forts in in­dus­trial pol­icy ended up push­ing growth rates as well as in­creas­ing the in­dus­try’s share in the GVA of the state al­most equal to that of ser­vices.

Did the up­surge in growth lead to poverty re­duc­tion? Yes, the re­duc­tion in poverty in Odisha is rather sig­nif­i­cant. In ru­ral Odisha, the de­cline is nearly 21 per­cent­age points, the high­est re­duc­tion among all states, while in ur­ban Odisha, the de­cline is nearly 12 per­cent­age points. More­over, the de­cline in poverty af­ter 2004-05 cuts across all so­cial groups, be it SCs, STs or OBCs. Clearly, the ben­e­fits of growth, along with fo­cus on the re­dis­tri­bu­tion mech­a­nism, have im­proved the lives of the poor. Poverty re­duc­tion in Odisha be­tween 2004-05 and 2009-10 is much more com­pared to the coun­try’s av­er­age.

De­spite such achieve­ments, the per­sis­tence of poverty, es­pe­cially in the KBK re­gion of the hin­ter­land, largely among the tribal and Dalit pop­u­la­tion, is the sin­gle big­gest chal­lenge for the Pat­naik gov­ern­ment. Such poverty in the hin­ter­land as op­posed to pros­per­ity in the coastal belt di­vides the state into two vastly dif­fer­ent zones.

Un­less the state gov­ern­ment pushes for an agri­cul­tural rev­o­lu­tion with the same spirit with which it pushed in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion strate­gies, it will be dif­fi­cult to root out ru­ral poverty among the back­ward dis­tricts of the hin­ter­land. The di­rect re­sult of such penury and in­equal­ity among the pop­u­la­tion is the rapid spread of left-wing ex­trem­ism in the poverty-stricken dis­tricts.

Such dis­si­dence can eas­ily turn into fierce anti-in­cum­bency un­less steps are taken to end poverty and in­equal­ity. If Odisha is to emerge out of its BIMAROU sta­tus and com­pete with the de­vel­oped coastal states, it must fo­cus as much on agri­cul­ture as on in­dus­try and ser­vices. The way to be­ing out­stand­ing is per­haps via a green rev­o­lu­tion in the KBK re­gion and by repli­cat­ing the de­vel­op­ment ex­pe­ri­ence of the coastal re­gion in the hin­ter­land.


A mini-trac­tor at work in a paddy field in Sonepur

Mid-day meal at a school in Gan­jam

Bin­dusagar lake, Bhubaneswar

Konark Fes­ti­val, 2016

*CAGR: Com­pound An­nual Growth Rate; GSDP: Gross State Do­mes­tic Prod­uct Source: Cen­tral Sta­tis­ti­cal Of­fice


Odisha Chief Min­is­ter Naveen Pat­naik be­gins his Jana Sam­park Ya­tra in Bhubaneswar on Oc­to­ber 2, 2017

Women at a camp for is­su­ing birth cer­tifi­cates in Cut­tack

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