Assam Economy – Overview

Assam Economy - Assam Exam

Economy of Assam

The Economy of Assam is largely agriculture based with 63 percent of Assam's population earns its living from the sector of griculture. Assam is well known for its production of Tea in all over the world. Assam produces 15 percent of the tea in the world. A major section of the labor force is employed in the segment of the Tea estates in Assam, which covers a large section of the state. Other Agricutural produce involves rice, sugarcane, pulses, potatoes and jute. Fruits like mangoes, bananas, pineapple and guavas are also produced in the state.

Principal Bhabananda Deka was the first Assamese Economist and Research Scholar to initiate formal extensive research on economy of Assam, and his book Asomor Arthaneeti is the first ever research based Assamese book on Assam Economics.

Macro-Economy of Assam today represents a unique juxtaposition of backwardness amidst plenty. Growth rate of Assam’s income has not kept pace with that of India’s during the Post-British Era; differences increased rapidly since the 1970s. Between 1981 to 2000, the Assam’s econmy grew by 3.3 percent, which is almost half of India’s rate. After the Liberalisation-Privatisation-Globalisation reform of Indian Economy in 1991, the gaps between growth rates of Assam’s and India’s economy widened further.

During the independence years, per capita income in Assam was little higher than that in India but it is much lower today. The per capita income in Assam at 1993-94 constant prices has reached INR 6520 in 2003-2004 and INR 6756 in 2004-2005, which is still much lower than the same of India. According to the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) data, Assam's GSDP per capita (nominal) is Rs. 60,621 in 2014-15, as compare to all-India average of Rs. 88,582 for the same year.


Economy of Assam
SGDP ₹2.58 lakh crore (US$40 billion) (2017-18 est.)
SGDP rank among Indian state 19th
SGDP growth
15% (2017-18 est.
Unemployment 4% (2015-16)
Public finances
Public debt
19.31% of GDP (2017-18 est.)
Revenues ₹73,467 crore (US$11 billion) (2017-18 est.
Expenses ₹85,923 crore (US$13 billion) (2017-18 est.)

Some of the Prominent Economic sectors of Assam are:

  • Agriculture
  • Fisheries
  • Sericulture
  • Forest and wood industry
  • Chemicals and fertilizers industry.
  • Handloom and textile industry
  • Mining
  • Tourism



Agriculture accounts for more than a third of Assam’s income and employs 63 percent of total workforce. Assam's biggest contribution to the world is its tea. Assam produces some of the finest and most expensive teas in the world. Other than the Chinese tea variety Camellia sinensis, Assam is the only region in the world that has its own variety of tea, called Camellia assamica. Assam tea is grown at elevations near sea level, giving it a malty sweetness and an earthy flavor.

Assam also produces rice, rapeseed, mustard, jute, potato, sweet potato, banana, papaya, areca nut and turmeric in significant quantity. However, the main profit-making product is tea. Tea plantation offers employment to more than a million people in the state. The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre is the largest center of CTC Tea in the world.

In Assam, Agriculture largely depends on the availability of funds. Banks ensure that loans are available to the agricultural sector at simple and easy rates of interest. State’s Infrastructure supports the marketing of the produce of the agricultural sector.


Assam’s department of fisheries aims to promote and develop economic farming of fish. This branch of the state government wants to promote the idea of producing fish commercially in almost all the water bodies in the state.


Apart from tea and petroleum refineries, Assam has no significant industries. Industrial development is inhibited by its physical and political isolation from neighbouring countries such as Myanmar, China and Bangladesh and from the other growing South East Asian economies. The region is landlocked and situated in the eastern most periphery of India and is linked to the mainland of India by a flood and cyclone prone narrow corridor‚ Chicken’s Neck‛ with weak transportation infrastructure.


The four main industrial minerals are coal, oil and gas, limestone and sillimanite. Petroleum mining is an important feature of the state's economy and is regulated by the Oil India Limited and the Assam Oil Company. Besides these major minerals, other minerals such as gravel, sand, building stone, and ballast are also generated. The economy of Assam gets good returns from the economic minerals found in different parts of the state, like clay, iron ore, copper, feldspar, gold, and gypsum.

Assam is a major producer of crude oil and natural gas in India. Assam is the second place in the world (after Titusville in the United States) where petroleum was discovered. Asia’s first successful mechanically drilled oil well was drilled in Makum (Assam) way back in 1867. The second oldest oil well in the world still produces crude oil. Assam has four oil refineries located at Guwahati, Digboi, Numaligarh and Bongaigaon with a total capacity of 7 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonnes per annum). . One of the biggest public sector oil company of the country, Oil India Ltd. has its plant and headquarter at Duliajan. Bongaigaon Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (BRPL) is the only S&P CNX 500 conglomerate with corporate office in Assam.


Another important contributor to the economy of Assam is forests. The forest products like timber and bamboo fetch great revenue to the state. A large variety of citrus fruits produced in the forests are big hit in the markets.


In the recent past, tourism has come up as one of potential economic sectors, and state govt is trying to attract more and more tourists to visit the state. Mainly due to it's very rich wildlife and biodiversity, with five declared national parks, Assam can aspire to develop tourism in a big way, as now infrastructure and communication has also improved significantly.

In this regard govt of Assam has recently Priyanka Chopra has been made the brand ambassador of the State’s tourism for two years.


In Assam, Business is mainly related to the silk and tea that are produced in large amounts. There is a large amount of revenue and investment involved in the business related to packaging and production of silk and tea.


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