Kerala‚Äôs Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) grew at 7.18% in 2017-18, which is higher than the 6.22% growth recorded in 2016-17. This was revealed in the Economic Survey report that was placed in the Assembly on Wednesday, a day ahead of the budget for the new fiscal to be presented by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac.
The GSDP in real terms in the primary sector registered a growth rate of 3.64% in 2017-18, which is a substantial improvement from 0.08% in 2016-17, - 5.10% in 2015- 2016 and 0.02% in 2014-15. The GSDP growth in the manufacturing sector was 9.2% in real terms in 2017-18. The corresponding figure was 7.8% in 2016-17. The GSDP of the secondary sector as a whole rose to 6.52% in 2017-18 from 4.81% in 2016-17. The tertiary sector GSDP recorded a growth rate of 5.84% in 2017-18, while the corresponding figure in 2016-17 was 5%.
The report says that Kerala is ahead of other Indian states in demographic and human development indicators. As far as attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2018) by the states is concerned, as compiled by the NITI Aayog, Kerala was ranked first along with Himachal Pradesh, with a score of 69 against the national average of 5.7. Kerala came first in SDGs relating to health, education and gender equality.
The state has reached a stage of demographic transition where it has a larger number of people above 60 years, as compared to the rest of the country. Hence, the state is not able to reap demographic dividend in the same way as other states, the report states. The demographic structure of the state brings new fiscal, social and health issues to the fore.
According to the report, although there has been a substantial reduction in absolute poverty, Kerala faces the problem of income inequality and deprivation among certain sections of society, namely Scheduled Tribes and fisherfolk.
Measures have been taken to facilitate ease of doing business through transparent procedures and by giving speedy clearances for entrepreneurs who want to make investments in the state. At the same time, the state is committed to implementing labour and environmental laws, the report says.