Manipur Economy

Manipur is situated in the eastern-most corner of northeast India. The state shares borders with other north-eastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram and Assam and the neighbouring country of Myanmar.

Due to its wealth of flora and fauna, Manipur is described as a "flower on lofty heights", "a jewel of India" and "Switzerland of the East". Its scenic beauty makes it a tourist's paradise.

Manipur flower on lofty heights

Flower on lofty heights in Manipur

Manipur has the advantage of acting as India's 'Gateway to the East' throughMoreh town, which is the only feasible land route for trade between India and Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries.

With about 3,268 sq. km of area covered by bamboo forests, Manipur is one of India's largest bamboo producing states and a major contributor to the country'sbamboo industry. Manipur has the highest number of handicraft units as well as the largest number of craft persons comprising skilled and semi-skilled artisans in the entire north-eastern region.

Handlooms is the largest cottage industry in Manipur and the state ranks among the top five in terms of the number of weaving looms in the country. The gross state domestic product (GSDP) of the state grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% from 2004-05 to 2014-15.

At current prices, the total GSDP of Manipur was about $2.4 billion in 2014-15. Manipur has one airport in its capital Imphal and Air India provides air cargo services. Four national highways run through the state.

The railway line under construction on the Manipur-Assam border is a national priority project. Manipur has a land area of 22,327 sq. km and a pollution free environment as people are mostly engaged in farming and village-based crafts.

Farm based livelihood

The economy of Manipur depends mainly on the agricultural sector for it is the biggest livelihood source for the rural people. The various kinds of crops grown in Manipur are rice, maize, pulses, and wheat.

The cultivation in the state is done using the jhumming and terraced cultivation methods.

Manipur agriculture

Maize Agriculture in Manipur

Various kinds of fruits and vegetables such as pineapple, orange, mangoes, lemons, carrot, ladies finger, cabbage, and pea are also grown in Manipur.

The agricultural sector contributes a great deal of revenue to the economy in Manipur.

The Manipur economy also gets its a major chunk of revenue from the forest produce as the state has dense jungles over the hills and towards the border with Myanmar.

A whole range of forest produce including timber and value-added items are sold across the country, apart from carting to export markets.

Growth drivers of economy

There are many areas of traditional strength and new opportunities that justify investment in the remote and scenic Manipur tucked away next to Myanmar. In recent years, a drastic shift was observed in the sectoral contribution from secondary to tertiary sector with respect to economic output.

The overall performance of the economy of the state over the years has been encouraging. In 2014-15, the tertiary sector (services) contributed 56.2% to the gross state domestic product (GSDP) at current prices, followed by the secondary sector at 22.4%.

The tertiary sector grew at an average rate of 11.9% between 2004-05 and 2014-15, driven by trade, hotels, real estate, finance, insurance, transport, communications and other services.

The secondary sector (core industries) grew at an average rate of 2.6% during the period between 2004-05 and 2014-15.

Its growth was mainly driven by construction and manufacturing.

The primary sector (agriculture) grew at an average rate of 6.2% between 2004-05 and 2014-15. Manipur has abundant natural resources that offer potential for the development of infrastructure and industrial sectors.

Major government initiatives

Manipur mulberry raw silk

Mulberry raw silk of Manipur

The following are some of the major initiatives taken by the government to promote Manipur as an investment destination:

  • In 2015, the state government introduced two schemes for the sericulture sector to boost the production of mulberry raw silk and eri spun silk.

  • In March 2015, the central government and Asian Development Bank signed an agreement for improving road connectivity and increasing domestic and regional trade in the state. The cost of this project is estimated to be $300 million.

  • As part of welfare measures to the handloom weavers, schemes such as group insurance, health packages, work shed-cum-housing scheme, project package scheme, integrated village development project and the Deen Dayal Hathkargha Protsahan Yojana are being implemented in the this sector.

  • The Central government has sanctioned several projects for Manipur such as the Integrated Infrastructural Development Project (IID) project at Moreh with a total project cost of $1.19 million.

  • Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) project at Khunuta Chingjin in the Kakching sub-division of Thoubal district at a project cost of $3.1 million.

  • Trade centres, one at Moreh and another at Imphal at total cost $0.4 million.

  • Industrial growth centre project at Lamlai-Napet with a total project cost of $6.2 million.

  • Four new handloom production centres (HPCs) have been planned.

  • Establishment of a food park at Nilakuthi with a project cost of $5.3 million to provide common facilities like cold storage, warehouse, quality control laboratories, packaging, tool room, power and water supply and sewerage treatment.