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India By State - Punjab - State Overview

State Overview

Economic Snapshot

Capital Chandigarh
Area (sq km) 50,362
Population (Census 2001, million) 24.3
Literacy Rate (%) 70
Human Development Index 0.537 (all India rank 2nd)
Gross State Domestic Product GSDP (US$ billion) 34.5
GSDP Growth (1999-0 to 2008-09) 11.07 per cent
Per Capita Income (US$) 1234.7
Exports (US$ billion, 2006-07) 30.19
National Highways Length (km) 1,557
Rail Length (km) 2,102
International Airport Amritsar
Domestic Airports Chandigarh, Ludhiana
Key Industries Agro-processing
Textiles, Hosiery and Woollens
Light Engineering Goods
Industries with Growth Potential Agri-business
IT and Electronics
Infrastructure Development

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Punjab is located in the northwest of India surrounded by Pakistan on the west, the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Himachal Pradesh on its northeast and Haryana and Rajasthan to its south. It covers a geographical area of 50,362 sq. km which is 1.54 % of country's total geographical area. Punjab state is located between 29 30' N to 32 32' N latitude and between 73 55' E to 76 50' E longitude. Its average elevation is 300 m from the sea level.

Physically, the state is divided into two parts; sub-Shivalik Strip and Sutlebj- Ghaggar Plain. The Sub Shivalik strip covers the upper portion of Ropar, Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur districts. The Sutlej- Ghaggar plain embraces the other districts of the Punjab. For administrative purposes it is divided into three divisions and 45 sub-divisions. There are 12,673 villages and 134 towns in the state.

Most of the land of Punjab is fertile plain but one can find the south-east region being semi-arid and desert landscapes. A belt of swelling hills extends along the northeast at the foot of the Himalayas. Punjab state is situated between the great systems of the Indus and Ganges rivers. Most of the state is an alluvial plain, irrigated by canals.



Population Demographics

  • Population: 24.29 million
  • Density: 482 per sq. km.
  • Urban Population: 33.95%
  • Literacy Rate: 69.95%
  • Male Literacy: 75.63%
  • Female Literacy: 63.55%
  • Sex Ratio: 874 females to 1000 males
  • Decadal Growth Rate: 20.10%
  • Religion(s):59.91% Sikh, 36.94% Hindu, 1.57% Muslim, 1.2% Christian, 0.7% Buddhists, 0.16% Jains, 0.04% Others

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Punjab's Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) stood at US $30.7 billion in 2008-09 and has been growing at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate of 10.98 percent since 1999.


The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Punjab was US$ 34.5 billion in 2008-09. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of GSDP from 2002-03 to 2008-09, was about 11.07 per cent.

Punjab ranks 13thamongst the all Indian states in terms of GSDP. Agriculture and services are the two sectors that drive the state's economy. The tertiary sector was driven, mainly, by trade and hotels and restaurants that comprised 39 per cent.

The primary and secondary sectors together, account for about 84 per cent of the GSDP. All the three sectors have recorded similar growth rates of 8 per cent to 10 per cent between 2000-01 and 2008-09.

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Physical Infrastructure


In terms of roads, Punjab is extensively connected throughout. Almost 55,000 km of roads runs across the length and breadth of Punjab connecting 99% of its villages. Punjab also has access to National Highways, Provincial Roads, State Highways, District Roads, and Link Roads


The international airport in Punjab is Amritsar and the domestic airport is located in Chandigarh. Punjab airports at Ludhiana, Chandigarh, and Amritsar equip the state with an impressive aviation sector.

Punjab is also well connected by the Indian Railways network, with train routes passing through Amritsar, Ambala, Ludhiana, Bhatinda etc.


Punjab is well connected by rail with key cities: Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Ferozepur and Jalandhar on the main line to New Delhi. The state's railway is approximately 2 098km. The chief railway routes are Amritsar-Ambala-Delhi, Sriganganagar-Ambala-Delhi, Ferozepur-Ludhiana-Ambala, Pathankot-Rupnagar-Fatehgarhsahib, and Sriganganagar-Bathinda-Narwana.


Punjab is focused on maximizing the utilization of existing capacities, reducing transmission and distribution losses, development of captive power plants, and adopting non-conventional sources for power generation. The state has given approval for 20.78 percent of its budget outlay to be spent on the energy sector in 2007-08. Demand for power has been driven by the agriculture and industrial sectors.

In 1990-91, total installed capacity in the state was 3,049 MW which went up to 4,626 MW in 2006-07. Its per capita consumption of electricity is 940 H, nearly 2.5 times the all-India number of 390.3 kWh. All its inhabited villages have been electrified. Recently, two thermal power plants have been declared at Talwandi Sobo in district Mansa and Nabha in district Patiala, each with a capacity of 1,200 MW.

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Social Infrastructure


Every year, 360 000 students join primary schools, settled within 1 km radius of every village. The state has 6 universities, 232 graduate colleges, and 4,043 senior secondary schools. There are leading technical, medical, management, and law institutions. The state encourages private participation of students in technical & vocational education.

Punjab is also gearing up to be a hub for biotechnology. It has five leading biotech institutions that produce 200 graduates and 100 postgraduates and doctorates in the field of biotechnology/ bio-engineering. These institutes are the Punjab State Council for Science & Technology (PSCST), Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology (TIET), Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) and the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER).


There are 205 hospitals 440 primary health centres and 1,480 dispensaries. The 90 percent of non-hospital healthcare and 67 percent of hospital care cases come under private healthcare. At the same time, the state has better health ratios as compared to the national average.

There are 230 allopathic (western medical system) and six ayurvedic (Indian medical system) hospitals (one 105 bed hospital at Patiala and five, 10 bed hospitals at jalandhar, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Amritsar) and one Homeopathic hospital in the state. They range from 50-bed hospitals in smaller towns to larger hospitals attached with the five medical colleges - one each at Patiala, Faridkot and Amritsar and two at Ludhiana having facilities for dealing with complicated cases and acting as referral hospitals and teaching colleges.

The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research at Chandigarh has facilities equal to the best available in any metropolis. Private medical facilities are also reliable and are available even in the semi-urban and rural areas of the state. At the level below the district one finds smaller hospitals: there are 1,450 allopathic, 473 Ayurvedic Dispensaries, 17 ayurvedic Swasth Kendras and 34 Unani (Arab/Persian medical system) and 105 homeopathic dispensaries. In addition the state has 446 Primary Health Centres and 105 Community Health Centres. There is one doctor for every 1,589 of the population and one hospital bed for every 864 people - ratios which are probably the best in the country.

About 76 per cent of the villages have protected drinking water supply. Life expectancy for men and women is 66.6 years which is second highest in the country. All these factors add up to a healthy hardworking population.

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Industrial Infrastructure


There are 2478 branches in Punjab. The state is also served by a network of 635 branches of the Punjab State Cooperative Bank. On an average, each branch services a population of 9,414, an area of 24 square kilometres or a cluster of five villages.

In comparison with other developed states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and the All-India average of 16,152 persons, the average population by a bank office is 9425 persons.


Telephone and Allied facilities are available to all cities and small towns. It is possible to directly dial for International calls from a large number of villages.

Punjab facilitates the availability of land through its notified Land Allotment Policy, 2002. Furthermore, it emphasizes on sector-specific infrastructure for food, apparel, biotech and IT, and electronics.

The Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC) has developed over 80 industrial estates, growth centres and industrial focal points in the state. These estates provide the units with basic infrastructure, which include uninterrupted electricity and water supply, sewerage and common roads. Punjab's main business and commercial centres are:

Chandigarh - Mohali

Chandigarh is the capital city of Punjab and the administrative headquarters of the Government of Punjab. Mohali is a twin township of Chandigarh and the hub for Information Technology (IT)/Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), electronics and pharmaceutical industries. The State Government is actively pursuing proposals to set up an IT-based Special Economic Zone at Mohali.

Ludhiana - Jalandhar

Spread over 6,400 sq km Ludhiana - Jalandhar are two of Punjab's largest cities with a population of over five million. They also form Punjab's principal industrial hubs, dominated by textiles and light engineering goods industries. Ludhiana is the domestic leader in acrylic yarn and woollens and is gearing up for growth in knitwear exports in the post quota regime, especially as the Indian textile industry.

Ludhiana - Amritsar

Under the Government of India's Industrial Infrastructure Up-gradation Scheme, the state is developing two industrial clusters, at Ludhiana and Amritsar, to promote cotton and woollen textile exports respectively. These clusters involve an investment of US$ 1 million each. The State Government is also working out the modalities of setting up a General Product Zone in Amritsar.

Punjab Apparel Park

To offer superior infrastructure support to apparel export units, the State Government is developing the Punjab Apparel Park at Ludhiana. The park to be set up at the cost of US$ 75 million will be developed by the Apparel Exporters Association of Ludhiana (APPEAL) in collaboration with the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC). Spread over 100 acres, the park will be self sufficient in terms of infrastructure.

Pushpa Gujral Science City

The State Government along with the Central Government is setting up the Pushpa Gujral Science City (PGSC), an international level science centre to encourage R&D in agriculture and promote agro-based industry. The institute will be spread over 71 acres and will be located on the Jalandhar - Kapurthala state highway.

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More Information on Punjab

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