Staff Correspondent

SHIMLA: Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who also has the Finance portfolio, presented the State Economic Survey for the financial year 2006-07 in the Himachal Assembly here on Friday, asserting that the State is moving towards a 9.3 per cent growth rate now after hitting 8.5 per cent in 2005-06 against a target of 8.2 per cent.

Per capita income at current prices is likely to go up to Rs.36,783 from Rs.33,805 in 2005-06 and that would be 26 per cent higher than the national average, he said.

Mr. Singh said the Gross State Domestic Product had increased to Rs.25435 crore from Rs.23024 crore in 2005-06. The primary sector, which includes agriculture and allied services, saw a growth rate of 2.6 per cent because of unfavourable weather conditions though it is providing employment to 69 per cent of the total workers and generating about 20 per cent of the total GSDP, he said.

Describing Himachal as a preferred destination for industrial investment, he said more than Rs.22,000 crore had been invested by 8,500 industrial units in the State giving employment to over 3 lakh people. The State, he claimed, had been visited by over 76 lakh tourists so far.