Department of Geography
Kolkata, West Bengal (India)
Structural transformation in the economy indicates shift from one prevalent economic sector to another. According to “Three-sector Theory” economy of any region is composed of three sectors – primary, secondary and tertiary. The base of the economy of a State is determined by the contribution of these three sectors to the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). The State of West Bengal, experiencing monsoon climate, its economic orientation is agrarian. But in this State a continuous sectoral shift has taken place during post liberalization period. The contribution of primary and secondary sectors to GSDP is declining steadily while the contribution of tertiary sector is escalating gradually. Conversely, in case of employment, the declining share of labour force in primary and secondary sectors is not conspicuous. Thus, the overall result is that unemployment in disguise in primary sector on one hand while in secondary sector mainly in the manufacturing units number of casual and contractual labour is rising at the cost of the strength of permanent labour force on the other. Moreover, the contribution of unregistered units to Net District Domestic Product (NDDP) is mounting at regular interval. The technology based service sector, especially Information Technology which is often referred to as quaternary sector, can absorb the skilled labour force and as a result the destiny of unskilled and semi skilled labour force becomes uncertain. The prime objective of this study is to identify sectoral change and its impact on the labour force. The footprints of industrial sickness in these industrial belts in the backdrop of booming tertiary sector reveal a jobless growth of the economy. Reaching the goal of balanced economy might be possible through revival of the sick manufacturing units as well as higher productivity in agricultural sector with a booster of techno-centric approach. Random alteration in economic structure is not healthy either for any region or for a State.
Key words: Structural Transformation, Gross State Domestic Product, Sectoral Change, Unemployment in Disguise, Sick Manufacturing Units, Post Liberalization Period, Jobless Growth.