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Ladakh Presentation and Economy Growth Report

Last updated on Aug, 31 2021

Economic Snapshot: Ladakh
Per capita Income of Ladakh


Ladakh, also known as the ‘Land of High Passes’, is the northernmost, largest and the second least populous UT of India and was formed on October 31, 2019. The UT shares borders with Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir and its neighbouring countries are Pakistan, China and Afghanistan.

In Ladakh, tourism is one of the key areas that plays a vital role in generating revenue, jobs and overall growth of regions. Ladakh has been recognised for its diverse topology with high-altitude cold desert located in the Great Himalayas and picturesque locations since 1974.

Hemis, Alchi, Lamayuru, Shey and Thiksay are some of the most popular monasteries of Ladakh that attract both domestic and foreign tourists. The Pangong Tso lake and world’s highest motorable road, Khardongla (18,350 feet), are the main attractions for domestic tourists, while monasteries and mountains are hotspots for foreign tourists.

Total tourist arrivals to the UT reached 279,937 in 2019, out of which 241,285 were domestic tourists and 38,652 were foreign tourists. Until June 2020, total tourist arrivals in Ladakh were 6,079, of which 5,019 were domestic and 1,060 were foreign tourists. On April 20, 2020, the Ministry of Tourism conducted its 5th webinar on the rich heritage of Ladakh titled ‘Ladakh: Explore the Unexplored’ under the ‘DekhoApnaDesh’ webinar series.

As of April 2021, Ladakh (includes Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh) had an installed power capacity of 3,482.11 MW. Ladakh has a potential to generate 35 GW from solar energy (32 GW in Leh (91%) and 3 GW in Kargil (9%)) and 4 GW from wind energy, annually.

Currently, only two roads connect Ladakh to the rest of India with limited access during winter. Ladakh has ~4,300 kms of road with 39% under PWD and 61% under BRO. In March 2021, the central government announced to a parliamentary panel that a ‘standalone project’ to build a critical road in Ladakh, along the border with China, is in progress.

The following are some key initiatives taken by the government to promote Ladakh as an investment destination:

  • To provide grid connectivity to the far-flung villages of Ladakh, the central government approved intra-state transmission project at a revised estimated cost of Rs. 1,309.71 crore (US$ 179.51 million) in May 2021.
  • In June 2021, Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) signed an agreement with the Administration of Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh to implement energy-efficient programmes and solar power projects for clean & efficient energy and make the UT carbon neutral.
  • In June 2021, CESL signed an MoU with the Union Territory of Ladakh to expand its decentralised solar portfolio in the UT.
  • To make Leh self-sufficient in power, Ladakh, in collaboration with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), initiated a carbon- neutral initiative for implementation of 50 MW solar storage plant in the UT.
  • In April 2021, a centre of excellence and wellness was established by the Indian Army in collaboration with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) to guide the youth of Ladakh for one year in preparing them for various medical and engineering examinations.
  • In June 2021, the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) announced to implement Van Dhan Vikas Kendra (VDVK) in the Union Territory of Ladakh and operationalise the formerly sanctioned 10 VDVK clusters.
  • In February 2021, an MoU was signed between Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and the UT administration of Ladakh to develop a geothermal field development project with a power potential of 200 MW.
  • In January 2021, the central government and the Central Water Commission (CWC) sanctioned eight hydropower projects (144 MW) on the Indus river and its tributaries in Ladakh. These projects will be developed in the districts of Leh and Kargil in compliance with the Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan.
  • In January 2021, Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, Kiren Rijiju, inaugurated the first-ever Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sports Festival at Padum in Zanskar. The Union Sports Ministry plans to provide sports facilities in all regions of Ladakh and promote the UT as a centre for ice hockey.
  • In October 2020, the Defence Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh inaugurated eight strategic bridges in Ladakh. He also announced construction of 45 more bridges in Ladakh that will be completed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in the next two years.
  • To provide an impetus to the tourism sector besides ensuring 24x7 connectivity to remote areas, Ladakh will get 36 new helipads by April 2021.
  • In October 2020, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi approved a special package of Rs. 520 crore (US$ 70.48 million) for Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission for five years until 2023-24.
  • In January 2020, a MoU was signed between NITI Aayog and UT administration of Ladakh to develop a strategic plan and provide support to specific projects, especially in tourism, solar energy and others, which will be under the public-private partnership mode.
  • In September 2020, Airports Authority of India announced its plan to upgrade Leh airport by constructing a state-of-the-art new terminal building with modern facilities at a cost of Rs. 480 crores (US$ 65.06 million). The airport will be able to handle 2 million passengers annually, after the completion of construction work in December 2022.
  • In June 2020, the transport ministry allocated Rs. 71 crore (US$ 9.61 million) to develop highways, by BRO, in Ladakh, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu.
  • In June 2020, the government announced plan to achieve 100% telecom connectivity in all parts of Ladakh. The project will be executed by the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) using the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
  • On August 15, 2020, PM, Mr. Narendra Modi, during his Independence Day speech announced the government’s aim to establish a 7.5 GW solar power park in Ladakh to set the union territory on a course to become carbon neutral. The mega project is planned with an estimated outlay of Rs. 45,000 crore (US$ 6.09 billion) and will be commissioned in 2023. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will enter into the power purchase agreement (PPA) for 35 years with the successful bidders for the purchase of solar power.
Ladakh State Presentation

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