The Green Revolution seems like a long time ago – actually that shouldn’t be surprising since it was 1963. Many studies have been done on how it spurred an agricultural boom that leapfrogged India to a state of self-sufficiency in foodgrain.

Relatively less has been written on how and whether Punjab and Haryana – the two states that led India’s resurgence in agriculture – maintained the momentum gained from the Revolution.

IndiaSpend’s Dhritiman Gupta goes back 20 years (or as far as available data allows) to find that both states didn’t sufficiently capitalise on the wave and only partially managed to bridge the gap through industrialisation.

To put figures in context, from 1961-62 to 1985-86, while national agricultural growth was 2.6%, Punjab’s agricultural growth was 6.4%; the highest in the country followed by Haryana with an agricultural growth of 4.7%.

Both Punjab and Haryana made up to some extent with industrialisation; but not to the extent that they perhaps could have. Moreover, agriculture itself has been stagnant. As data shows later in the report, nor did the two states manage to build better social indicators either.

Punjab in fact was one of the worst economic performers in the country over 1994-95 to 2011-12. Of the 32 states and Union Territories reported in Planning Commission data, Punjab ranked 25th over 1994-95 to 2001-02. Over the period 2001-02 to 2011-12, the ranking did not change.

The years since 2003-04 have been better for Punjab compared to the previous years. Punjab was able to break the double digit growth barrier in only one year; 2006-07. On the other hand Haryana has managed good growth rates since 1997-98, even though the rates have fluctuated.

Haryana Outperforms Punjab

Haryana has performed better than Punjab over both the periods concerned. Over 1994-95 to 2001-02, Punjab grew at an average rate of 4.3% while Haryana managed 6.4%. Over 2004-05 to 2011-12, Haryana’s growth went up to 9.3% while Punjab stood at 6.9%.

Why has Punjab lagged the whole country and Haryana in particular? Let’s look at the state’s GDP growth rate, as well as that of the agricultural and industrial sectors.

First the growth rate of the GSDP of the states.

Table 1: Gross State Domestic Product Of Punjab & Haryana

Average from 1994-95 to 2001-024.36.4
Average from 2004-05 to 2011-126.99.3
Improvement %2.62.9

(Figures are in %)

Source: Planning Commission Data

Poor Agricultural Growth

Now, let’s take a look at the agricultural growth rates of Punjab and Haryana.

Table 2: Agricultural Growth Rates Of Punjab & Haryana

Average Growth Rate from 1996-97 to 2003-042.42.5
Average Growth Rate from 2004-05 to 2009-102.84.1
Improvement %0.41.6

(Figures are in %)

Source: Planning Commission Data

Punjab lagged Haryana in terms of agricultural growth rates over both the periods 1996-04 and 2004-10. In fact the agricultural leader during Green Revolution could rank only 20th out of 32 states and union territories over 1996-04. The rank improved marginally to 18th for the period 2004-10.

Agriculture in Punjab has stagnated. Over 1996-04 it grew at an average rate of 2.4%. It improved to 2.8% for the period 2004-10; a slight improvement of 0.4%. On the other hand Haryana improve 1.6 percentage points when we compare the two periods 1996-04 and 2004-10.

Punjab Sees Strong Industrial Growth

Now, let’s look at industrial growth rates and you can see (despite all the pretty dramatic fluctuations in the figures) how industrial growth begins to set in.

Table 3: Industrial Growth Rates Of Punjab & Haryana

Average Growth Rate over 2000-01 to 2003-040.86.4
Average Growth Rate over 2004-05 to 2008-0910.07.5
Improvement %9.21.1

(Figures are in %)

Source: Planning Commission Data

If we look at the industrial sector, Punjab seems to have done better than Haryana over the period 2004-10. Over 2000-04, industries in Punjab were almost stagnant, growing at an average rate of 0.8%.

Over the same period Haryana did well to record a rate of growth of 6.4%. Since then Punjab has stolen the show as far as industries go. Over 2004-10, the industrial sector in Punjab grew at an average rate of 10%, while Haryana could grow at 7.5%.

Industries seem to be the reason behind resurgence in overall growth rates for Punjab since 2004-05. Overall average growth rates picked up to 6.9% since 2004-05. While agriculture has remained stagnant since 2004-05, industries have picked up tremendously.

Per Capita Income: Punjab Lags Haryana

Now look at how the people of these two states are faring. We first look at the per-capita (per person) income of these states.

Table 4: Per Capita Income In Punjab & Haryana

States Per-capita income in 2000-01(Rs.)Per-capita income in 2011-12(Rs.)Per-capita income in 2011-12 as a multiple of 2000-01

Source: Planning Commission Data

Haryana was behind Punjab in 2000-01, when it came to per-capita income. An individual in Haryana earned Rs 24,412 per year while an individual in Punjab earned Rs 25,986. Since then however Punjab has fallen way behind Haryana.

In 2011-12, an individual in Haryana earned Rs 63,045 while one in Punjab earned Rs 46,688. Over this decade Haryana had increased its per-capita income by 2.5 times while Punjab could not even double it.

Social Indicators: Similar Performance

If we look at social indicators, Haryana and Punjab have performed almost similarly. Literacy rate in Haryana in 2001 was 67.9% while in Punjab it was 69.6%. In 2011, the literacy rates of both the states were 76.6%.

Life expectancy at birth over 2002-06 was 66.2 years in Haryana and 69.4 years in Punjab. However, the area of concern for both states is the sex-ratio, defined as number of females per 1,000 males. Ideally it should be in a 1:1 ratio. In 2001, the sex-ratio in Haryana was 861 while in Punjab it was 874.

In 2011, the sex-ratio of Haryana had improved to 877, while in Punjab it improved to 893. However, when compared to sex-ratio of states like Kerala (1084), Chhattisgarh (991) and Andhra Pradesh (992), the performance of these states is not encouraging.

Most states need strong agriculture to back their overall growth and prosperity. Several IndiaSpend studies have found that weak agriculture growth can upset the big growth picture. Moreover, a larger chunk of the population depends on agriculture so the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Punjab faces a tough challenge on the agriculture front now, particularly since ground water levels have gone down drastically in the state. Studies by the National Geophysical Research Institute have shown that the increasing extraction of Groundwater has resulted in a decline of water levels, especially fresh groundwater levels. In central Punjab, the levels have been falling at 0.2 to 0.3 metres per year. While industrial growth could perhaps bridge the gap and help the state grow, it’s clear that the Green Revolution (in spirit and implementation) is now mostly a matter of historical record.