Meghalaya: Homeopathic doctors meet CM for creation of posts
Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma

Guwahati: Meghalaya today is one of the lowest per-capita income states in India. In 2022-23, its per-capita income stands at Rs. 98,572 compared to the neighbouring state Assam’s per-capita income of Rs.1,20,000 per annum. The national per-capita (GDP) income is Rs.1,72,000 per annum (at 2011-12 current prices).

The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Meghalaya is about Rs. 42,000 crore in 2022-23 (at 2011-12 current prices).  Over the last 10 years, the annual average growth of the state’s GSDP stands at 7 percent compared to the national growth rate of 11 percent per annum at current prices.

The state has adequate potential of physical and human resources to become a 10 billion USD economy (approx. Rs. 1 lakh crore). To achieve this by 2030, the state economy needs to grow at an estimated rate of 12 percent per annum. Besides this aspirational target, it is more important to make growth inclusive and to make the maximum of its benefits available to the poorest of the poor. The NITI Aayog,2021 report says that about 33 percent of population in Meghalaya are multi-dimensionally poor compared to national average of 25 percent. In the Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI), Meghalaya scores 0.157 and ranks far ahead of national score of 0.112 in 2021. The state faces the biggest challenge of pulling a million plus of its population out of poverty.  

Data plays an important role in reshaping and redesigning government policies. It gives feedback about the past and present policies of the government. It presents the past trend of the direction of the economy and its various sectors and thus, helps the government to examine the merits and limitations of its various policies.  Inter-sectoral relationships are also examined with the help of data.

The Meghalaya Data Poral (MDP) is an effort of the state government to provide a platform for accessing the scattered information available in the public domain in various formats across different sectors of the economy.  Activities related to scrapping and collation of information and to store them in a readable format and further, use of the data by public from a common platform, are performed by the expert technicians from Bharti Institute of Public Policy at Indian School of Business. It can be witnessed with the help of the weblink

The MDP at its present stage provides information about 30 datasets. Information about most of these datasets is available at the district and sub-district level. Information for some of the datasets such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Mission Antyodaya etc. is available even at sub-district, village, and panchayat level.

Macro Economy

The consumer price index (CPI) based inflation measures the change in price level of the daily consumed commodities of households. The rise in prices impacts the standard of living. The households at the bottom of the income pyramid are largely impacted by rising prices. The MDP provides information about the monthly CPI inflation rate of over 500 commodities grouped in seven categories for the state for the last 10 years. This would help the state machinery to track the price changes of the necessary commodities mostly consumed by the poor households and take necessary actions.

Price level in the state is determined by both internal and external demand-supply conditions. On the external front, information about import and export of principal commodities such as cotton, beverage, furniture etc. from the state is available from 2015. The information would be useful in experimenting with the comparative advantages of the state in various tradeable commodities.

Food and Agriculture

Agriculture and allied sectors constitute about 19 percent of the state’s GSDP in 2021-22. It has a significant contribution to employment and the rural economy.  The MDP has a special focus on this sector by capturing micro-detailed information about food and agriculture status in the state. The production trend of over 50 crops and their area coverage and productivity over the last 25 years can be available from the portal. It will help the state to address the growth and productivity of crops mostly produced by the small and marginal land holders. The large-scale information on production at district level would help address the issues of crop-diversification, use of fertilizer and technology and create a soil and environment friendly agriculture ecosystem in the state. Further, information about MSP of various commodities and price information from various mandis available in the portal would strengthen the agriculture product market and bridge the trust deficit gaps among the producers and between producer, consumer, and the state. 


The MDP can be used as a base point to measure the socio-economic change as it provides district wise household level detailed information regarding access to road connectivity, drinking water, toilet facilities, banks, and other financial institutions etc. from the source of socio-economic caste census 2011. Data related to access of school education and quality of school infrastructure can be obtained from the portal. Similarly, information on various health indicators such as, maternal and child health status, access to health sub-centres and primary health centres at district and sub-district level can be available from the data portal.

Financial Inclusion

A developed network of financial institutions, their quality in service and related infrastructure facilities to access the network, helps access of credit to every sector and every section of society. Credit plays an important role in the growth and development of any sector of the economy. Access of credit by each deserving person needs development of infrastructure. The portal helps in providing detailed information of deposits and credit disbursements by scheduled commercial banks at district level. Similarly, information about money spent by various companies under the domain of corporate social responsibility for education, health and other sensitive sectors of the economy is available and easily downloadable from the data portal.

Government Development Programs

The MDP provides detailed information about important developmental programs run under various government schemes. Information about credit disbursements through various banks under the Pradhan Mantri Employment Generation Program (PMEGP) can help the state to track the development of micro and small-scale enterprises and their impact on employment generation. Again, the updated monthly information about benefits received under the Public Distribution System (PDS) at district level can help improve transparency in the system. The portal captures district level information on Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), and village information about beneficiaries under PMFBY which would help the state machinery to redesign and reframe the policy to optimize the support system in the field of agriculture and rural infrastructure development. Even with all the information as discussed above, the MDP does not stop here. Going forward, it aims to include each micro and macro level indicator available in the public domain and present them with eye-catching visualisations to benefit the common man understanding of the state economy and government functioning. It stands as facilitator to bridge the information gap and helps in improving relationship between state and the people to take the economy forward to achieve sustained growth at higher level of equilibrium and fairer distribution of growth among all citizens of the state. 

Dr. Sridhar Kundu is a senior analyst at Bharti Institute of Public Policy, Indian School of Business. The views expressed are personal.

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