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Rural India corners a chunk of industries, jobs

Who says economic reforms are urban-centric? The countryside has outperformed urban India in the number of enterprises it houses. Over 61% of the enterprises engaged in economic activities other than crop production and plantation are in rural India compared with just 38.7% in urban areas, according to the provisional figures of the Fifth Economic Census.

This reinforces the trend observed in the previous (1998) census, in which rural India accounted for 58.3% of such enterprises, while 41.7% of them were in urban areas. The current census also reveals that rural India accounts for 51% of total employment.

The 2005 census shows that even in average annual growth in enterprises, rural areas grew 5.53% against urban India’s 3.71%. “The trend indicates that economic reforms are at work in the rural areas and their impact is being felt more on the rural population than on their urban brethren,” said RC Panda, secretary, ministry of statistics and programme implementation.

As per the report, Tamil Nadu topped the states, with the highest number of industrial units (44.5 lakh), while Maharashtra was the largest employer with 1.18 crore jobs.

Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal together accounted for 50% of the total enterprises in the country. Mizoram clocked the highest growth in number of enterprises at 9.60%.


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