Note: Here “district of enumeration” term includes Tarn Taran District too. The migration of people seeking work or employment is the most important part of the total migrants, as it is considered as the prime factor responsible for migration. The total number of migrant workers in Amritsar city since 1971is more than 1lakh which forms 37% share of the total migrant population in the city. More than half of the migrant workers are from within the Amritsar District (including Tarn Taran District). Almost 1/6th have migrated from the other districts of Punjab, while around 3/10th migrant workers have come from other states in search of job. The rest 1/20th workers have migrated from the other countries.
2.8 ECONOMY AND EMPLOYMENT
The occupational structure of Amritsar has been assessed by the number of workers engaged in the four categories namely cultivators, agricultural laborers, household industry and others as described in census 2001 is shown in the table below.
Table 12: Industrial Classification of Main Workers in Amritsar City
Type of worker
Number of Workers
Number of Workers
A & B
Plantation, Livestock, Forestry, Fishing, Hunting and allied activities
Mining and Quarrying
Manufacturing processing and repairs industry (Household industry)
Manufacturing processing and repairs industry (Other than Household)
Electricity, Gas and Water Supply
Whole sale and Retail trade
Hotels and Restaurants
Transport, Storage and Communications
J & K
Financial Intermediation; Real Estate Renting and Business Activities.
L to Q
Public Administration and Defence; Compulsory Social Security; Education; Health and Social Work; Other Community, Social and Personal Service Activities; Private Households with Employed Persons; Extra-Territorial Organisations and Bodies.
Source: Census of India-2001
The table above shows that the main workers in Amritsar city, classified into 9 categories as per census 2001. It has been found that out of the total workers in Amritsar city, 26.96% of the workers are engaged in Wholesale and Retail Trade followed by 21.94% in manufacturing, processing &repairs industry and 20.67% in public administration and others since Amritsar is the district head quarter. The increase in number of workers have been observed in the construction, manufacturing processing and repair industry (household industry) and in the ninth category which includes financial intermediaries, real estate renting and business activities and public administration and defence services (J&K and L to Q).
Emerging Economic Drivers
Several economic drivers have been identified within the Amritsar. Recently, booming real estate activities have been observed with the coming up of several residential colonies such as Impact Gardens (a mega project), Garden Enclave, Shubham Enclave, Ansal City, Heritage City etc and has played a great role in both the physical and economic development of the city. Besides this, several shopping malls and multiplexes, like Celebration Mall, Alpha One, Trilium, etc. have come up or are under construction in the Amritsar city along with commercial retail chains like Bharti Walmart’s Best price on GT road near Manawala, Tata retail chain stores, reliance retail chain stores etc., which when operational will contribute towards the economic development. Further, there is proposal for establishment of World-Class Central University in the Amritsar, which will give employment to large number of people.
Amritsar is the second largest city of Punjab and a great centre of learning and literature. It has number of educational institutions of regional importance, such as Guru Nanak Dev University, Khalsa College, ten Degree Colleges, two B. Ed. colleges, two Engineering Colleges, nine Nursing Colleges, two Polytechnics/Industrial Training Institutes, one Medical College, one Ayurvedic College, two Dental Colleges and four distance education centers.
It has emerged as a magnificent centre of trade and industry. There are approximately 25,000 industrial units in the district Amritsar with major commodities of production and export being woolen blankets, shawls, carpets, food items, such as papad, pickles, etc.
At regional level, it has also emerged has a great centre of heritage and historical significance. The history of Amritsar is more than 400 years old and is intricately intertwined with the birth of Sikh religion.
Presence of Rajasansi International Airport has also helped in giving it due importance at regional level. At present, it handles approximately 150 commercial flights per week, both domestic and international.
Presence of strong regional linkages, two National Highways namely NH 1 and NH 15, three State Highways, four M.D.R’s and twenty four O.D.R’s places it at a very strategic position with respect to the other districts by providing connectivity to the other parts of the state and country as well. Apart from the extensive road network, it also enjoys good rail and air connectivity with the other parts of the country.The Amritsar over the period of time has also established its mark in the tourism industry due to the presence of Golden Temple and other historical sites such as Ram Tirath, Wagah Border etc. The city is witnessing boom in hotel and restaurant industry due to large influx of tourists on daily basis. Several projects are being undertaken to conserve and enhance the city heritage and to improve the city infrastructure to attract more and more number of tourists. The booming tourism industry is bound to give employment to large number of people in near future. Existing economic drivers are studied in terms of Industry, trade/commerce, tourism and agriculture/allied activities.
2.9 TRADE AND COMMERCE
Amritsar from the historical times has earned the image of being an important commercial city as it is a gateway to Indo Pakistan. It is also an important regional market center for agricultural goods, woolen, spices and dry fruits. Today, it is India's important distribution centre of dry-fruits, tea (next only to Kolkata), and is leading exporter of goods to the Middle East. woolen tweeds, suiting’s, blankets, shawls in traditional weaves, ivory (now plastic) inlay furniture, swords of all designs, oils, scents, jutties (traditional embroidered shoes), cut-glass crockery, selective musical instruments, carpets are manufactured here. Its pickles, murabbas (Indian jams), papads, warian and sweetmeats are exported to far off places, right into Punjabi Diaspora abroad. With a population of more than 10 lakhs and a number of educational institutions, wholesale markets, industrial focal points, banks, hotels and restaurants, Amritsar has strengthened its base as second largest commercial city of Punjab.
The importance of trade and commerce as an economic function of the Amritsar city can be judged from the very fact that 92.28% of the total working population of the city is involved into tertiary activities. The larger share of working population in trade and commerce related to an activity reflects that it is the mainstay of the people in the city.
2.9.1 Agriculture And Allied Activities District Amritsar has 84% of its total geographical area as “Net Sown Area” under various crops, which is 5.32% of the net sown area in the state. The total cropped area in the district is 5.39% of the state and ranks 8th among other districts. 100% of the gross cropped area in the district is irrigated. 75.67% of the net sown area in the district is irrigated through tube wells and wells and the remaining 24.33% of the area is irrigated through network of government canals in the district i.e. Upper Bari Doab Canal.
Amritsar district is an important district for the production of vegetables in the state. Amritsar City serves as good market for vegetables locally produced. In addition to the use of composed, cattle dung and green manures are being increasingly used in the district. The district was the top consumer of chemical fertilizer during 2000-2001 as it alone consumed 133,000 thousand tonnes of chemical fertilizers (NPK).
Land Reclamation, Irrigation and Power Research Institute, Punjab, Amritsar was established in 1924 and was reorganized in 1947. This institute deals with research and design problems relating to irrigation and power projects. Extensive soils, water and ground water surveys form its regular feature. For devising suitable ante – water logging measure, a number of pilot schemes have been taken up by the institute. Besides there are two fruit nurseries in the district namely (1) The Khalsa College Nursery, Amritsar, (2) The Malak Nursery, Court road, Amritsar. These nurseries rendered valuable assistance in the propagation of horticulture in the district.
PRINCIPAL CROPS The principal crops in the Amritsar district are Wheat and Paddy as it ranks 8th in rice production and 9th in wheat production among the districts of the state. Both these crops have largest area under cultivation in the district, as yield per hectare of land is highest.
2.9.2 Allied Activities
Allied activities such as dairying, animal husbandry, fisheries etc also form a strong economic base for the agriculture. Amritsar district has 2nd highest number of livestock after Ludhiana in the state of Punjab. Amritsar district holds 1.44% of the total poultry in the state of Punjab. The details of livestock and poultry in the district are shown in the table no. 18.
Table 13: Details of livestock and poultry in the Amritsar district, 2007