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Industrial Development & Economic Growth in Kerala

Last updated on Aug, 31 2021

Economic Snapshot
Per capita Income


Kerala is one of the few states to have marketed its natural beauty successfully to the leisure tourism sector. The state's unique heritage and cultural diversity has attracted tourists from around the world. BBC Travel survey has rated Kerala as the top favourite tourist destination among foreign travellers in 2018.

Kerala ranks second in the Investment Climate Index followed by Karnataka as per a policy research working paper by the World Bank. The state stands second due to its world-class infrastructure and well-trained human resource pool. Kerala's traditional industries include handloom, cashew, coir, and handicrafts.

At current prices, Kerala’s total GSDP stood at Rs. 876,283 crore (US$ 119.93 billion) in 2021-22, an increase of 1% over FY20. The state’s GSDP is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.72% between 2015-16 and 2020-21. The state’s per capita GSDP stood at Rs. 245,323 (US$ 3,329) in 2019-20.

As of April 2021, the state had a total installed power-generation capacity of 5,836.95 MW, of which 2,189.36 MW was accounted by state utilities, 2,097.20 MW by central utilities and 1,550.39 MW by the private sector.

According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), cumulative FDI inflow in Kerala was valued at US$ 269.61 million between October 2019 and March 2021.

Exports from the state stood at US$ 3.94 billion in FY21.

Under SEZ Act, 2005, Kerala has 29 formally approved SEZs, 25 notified SEZs and 19 exporting SEZs. The state has a techno park in Thiruvananthapuram which has been instrumental in attracting global electronics manufacturers, an info park in Kochi, and a cyberpark in Kozhikode.

Some of the key performance indicators are as below:

  • Under the State Budget 2021-22, the government has allocated Rs. 4,883 crore (US$ 668.30 million) for road transport.
  • In the Union Budget 2021-22, the government allocated funds worth Rs. 2,083 crore (US$ 285.09 million) for urban development projects in Kerala.
  • In FY20, total fish production in the state stood at 6.8 lakh metric tonnes, of which production of 4.75 lakh metric tonnes is attributable to the marine sector.
  • In February 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi launched the ‘Smart Roads’ project in Thiruvananthapuram that will be undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs. 427 crore (US$ 58.91 million). It envisages conversion of 37 kms of existing roads to smart roads by bringing all overhead utilities underground and undertaking road and junction improvements.
  • In February 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi inaugurated the 320 KV Pugalur (Tamil Nadu)-Thrissur (Kerala) power transmission project. The project, built at a cost of Rs. 5,070 crore, will facilitate the transfer of 2,000 MW power from the western region to meet the power needs of the state.
  • In February 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the integrated command and control centre, which is projected to be built at a cost of Rs. 94 crore (US$ 12.97 million). It is being set up to host smart solutions for Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation and will act as a common point of action during emergency situations to facilitate coordinated action.
  • In February 2021, Chief Minister Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan launched the ‘Kochi Water Metro’ project to connect the islands around the city via boats. The first route connecting Vyttila and Kakkanad was inaugurated with the launch.
  • In February 2021, Chief Minister Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated India’s first digital university, housed on a 10-acre campus in Technocity, Mangalapuram.
  • In January 2021, Kochi airport commissioned two floating solar power plants with a combined capacity of 452 KWh to sustain the power needs of the airport.
  • In 2020-21, passenger traffic handled by the state stood at 2,458,458 from Cochin airport and 935,435 from Thiruvananthapuram airport.
  • In FY21, the total marine products exports from Kerala accounted for US$ 511.52 million, which was 15% of the total exports.
  • In December 2020, Kerala Government announced that development projects worth Rs. 10,000 crore (US$ 1.36 billion) will either be completed or launched in the state in the next 100 days. Of these, a total of 5,526 projects will be completed or inaugurated, amounting to Rs. 5700 crore (US$ 774.89 million), and 646 projects worth Rs. 4,300 crore (US$ 584.57 million) will be launched.
  • In 2019-20, the total production of horticulture crops in the state was expected to be 10219.76 thousand metric tonnes and area under production was 1590.56 thousand hectares. In 2019-20, the total production of vegetables and fruits were estimated at 2757.05 thousand metric tonnes and 1731.44 thousand metric tonnes, respectively.
  • In October 2020, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, Mr. Nitin Gadkari inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for 8 National Highway projects in Kerala. He announced that as part of Bharatmala Pariyojana, 35,000 km of National Highways are being constructed. Out of this, as part of Bharatmala Pariyojana in the state, 1,234 km of National Highways are being built.
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