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Delhi sees a retail boom

The fifth Economic Census of Delhi 2005 may put Delhi at the 16th position among 35 states and union territories in terms of growth, reports Anuradha Mukherjee.

delhi Updated: Jul 05, 2008 02:34 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

The fifth Economic Census of Delhi 2005 may have put Delhi at the 16th position among 35 states and union territories in terms of growth in the number of business establishments, but the city still seems to hold on to its reputation as a centre of retail and wholesale trade, even if manufacturing has taken a beating.

There is some fresh competition for posh south Delhi as far as coveted markets are concerned. “The maximum concentration of business establishment has been identified in northwest district, followed by south Delhi,” said Delhi finance minister A.K Walia.

Northwest Delhi neighbourhoods like Pitampura, Rohini and west Delhi markets like Rajouri Garden are fast catching up, with their swanky malls and multiplexes. In fact, if it is any indicator of the changing growth pattern, the highest number of new business establishment came up in the northwest Delhi (17.30%), closely followed by south Delhi (13.83%). Yet, south Delhi still remains the hub as far as jobs are concerned. It continued offering the highest number (16.54%) of jobs, followed by northwest district that accounted for 14.91 per cent employment.

“The pattern of employment is more or less uniform across the city. Manufacturing, retail and community, social, personal services were the three areas offering the maximum jobs,” said an official.

Although the growth in the number of business establishments may have been recorded at 1.50 per cent between 1998 and 2005 economic censuses, the good news is the boom in retail outlets. The interesting factor is that manufacturing and retail units that drive the city’s economy often find it difficult to procure a loan from financial institutions. Although the census shows only 1.01 per cent of business establishment go to the moneylender, more manufacturing (1,360) and retail (3,856) units reported borrowing money from non-institutional sources, as against 1,098 and 1,910, respectively, who approached banks.

Walia, however, added 1.81 per cent of total business establishments in the country are located in Delhi as compared to 1.99 per cent in Haryana, 2.56 per cent in Punjab and 2.93 per cent in Bihar. Although that seems like a fair share, as far as distribution of jobs and property goes, we are far from being an equitable city.

Sample this: Women have only 10.50 per cent share in Delhi’s jobs. Men are still the principle breadwinners and account for 89.51 per cent of jobs. Of the 7,31,005 private establishments, 10.06 per cent belong to persons from Scheduled Castes, 14.66 per cent to those from Other Backward Classes, while 75.28 per cent are owned by other social groups.