Odisha Economic survey of 2016-17 throws up some facts and figures which are positive on some counts and discouraging on others. The volume of the state economy is likely to rise to INR 3400billions which is indicative of the overall vibrancy of the economy even if a closer dissection exposes the fragile fault lines. Agriculture and allied sectors is likely to rebound following a damp show in 2015—16 which is a good omen as agriculture sector pivots other economic activities in the state. A healthy agricultural growth rate may also offset the likely decline in the performance of the mining and quarrying sector which is expected to record a sluggish growth rate in the same period. Manufacturing sector is expected to show marginal growth which is unlikely to impact the overall slowness of the secondary sector. Service sector, whose share in GSDP showed incremental escalation over the past few years may show a lesser growth rate in 2016-17 triggering lesser job generation. The labor absorption capacity of the service sector in the years has come down even if its share has gone up in the GSDP. Employment in the private sector has also remained low compounding the unemployment problem in the state. In the MSME sector employment generation don’t match the capital infusion and the employment potential has shown inconsistency across sub-sectors. Employment generation in the organized sector also remains flat. One positive trend that the survey shows is the increasing proportion of women’s employment in the organized sector.
Except agriculture, the outlook for other sectors is not so encouraging. Better performance of other sectors depends on the materialization of big investment proposals and credit inflow into MSME sectors having high capital: job creation ratio. Hope the government uses the findings of the survey as a mirror to reconfigure its polices and priorities.