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Economy

Economic Development

 
The era of planning started in Himachal in 1948 along with the rest of India. The first five year plan allocated Rs.5.27 crore to Himachal. More than 50% of this expenditure was incurred on road construction since it was felt that without proper transport facilities, the process of planning and development could not be carried to the people, who mostly lived an isolated existence in far away areas. Efforts were also made to involve people more in the process of economic and social advancement.

The community development programme launched in 1952, in certain selected areas of Himachal was later extended to the entire rural area. New ideas and forming techniques suitable to different areas and climatic zones were introduced bringing a new awareness amongst the people about the production possibilities of there respective lands which for centuries were using the ancient time worn methods. In Mandi and Kangra districts package programmes were undertaken in collaboration with the West German government for popularising modern techniques of cultivation among the farmers. Suitable agricultural machinery and good breeds of cattle, sheep and poultry were introduced in these areas. Well equipped soil testing laboratories, dairy farms and agricultural workshops were established at various centres, besides an Agriculture University at Palampur.

Himachal is one of the classic examples of rapid transformation from the worst form of feudalism to democracy and from the most backward part of the country to one of its most advanced states. Himachal, now ranks fourth in respect of per capita income among the states of the Indian Union.

Himachal has an impressive record to look back upon and there are wide opening vistas ahead. Its education system is well established, its agriculture reaching near self-sufficiency, its horticulture making a name in the country and even abroad, its road system having emerged as the best in the hills, the infrastructure for its industrial development well laid out, its rich forests being augmented and above all, the increasing attention of the nation towards exploiting its hydel resources are the guarantees for its bright future. It has already become the ideal in respect of development for the hill areas of the country.

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