Economy of Delhi

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Economy of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Skyline at Rajiv Chowk.JPG
Connaught Place in New Delhi is an important economic hub of the National Capital Region.
GDP7.80 lakh crore (US$110 billion) (nominal GSDP of NCT; 2018–19 est.)[1]
$167 to $370 billion (PPP Metro GDP)[2][3][4]
GDP rank13th
GDP growth
11.5% annually (2013–18)[1]
GDP per capita
360,644 (US$5,200) (current prices; 2017–18)[1]
GDP per capita rank
GDP by sector
Agriculture 2%
Industry 12%
Services 86% (2017–18)[1]
Unemployment9.7% (2017–18)[5]
Public finances
-5,902 crore (US$−850 million) (2019–20 est.)[1]
Revenues50,767 crore (US$7.3 billion) (2019–20 est.)[1]
Expenses60,000 crore (US$8.7 billion) (2019–20 est.)[1]

The economy of Delhi is the 13th largest among states and union territories of India. The nominal GSDP of the NCT of Delhi for 2017-18 was estimated at 6.86 lakh crore (US$99 billion) recording an annual growth of 8.1%. Growth rate in 2014-15 was 9.2%.In 2017-18, the tertiary sector contributed 85% of Delhi's GSDP followed by the secondary and primary sectors at 12% and 3% respectively. The services sector recorded an annual growth of 7.3%.[1]

Delhi is the largest commercial centre in northern India. As of 2016, recent estimates of the economy of the urban area of Delhi have ranged from $167 to $369 billion (PPP metro GDP) ranking it either the most or second-most productive metro area of India.[3][2][6][4]


Manufacturing grew considerably as consumer goods companies established manufacturing units and headquarters in the city. Delhi's large consumer market and the availability of skilled labour has also attracted foreign investment. Delhi contributes 4.94% to the total GDP of the country. In 2001, the manufacturing sector employed 1,440,000 workers and the city had 129,000 industrial units.[7]


Key service industries are information technology, telecommunications, hotels, banking, media and tourism.[8] Construction, power, health and community services and real estate are also important to the city's economy.[9]


Delhi has one of India's largest and fastest growing retail industries.[9]

Information Technology[edit]

As with other regions of India, the IT industry has been expanding in Delhi. Although not as robust as the IT industry in some of India's southern states, it still hosts significant IT companies such as Google India, Teleperformance India, HCL Technologies, SAP Labs India, Tata Consultancy Services and SAS Institute India.[10] Its satellite cities that fall within the NCR, such as Noida in Uttar Pradesh or Gurgaon in Haryana, are also home to a strong IT sector.[11] According to the Industrial Policy for Delhi 2010-21,[12] the Delhi government hopes to increase investments into and further develop the state's IT and ITeS industries.[13] Delhi's government institutions, well-developed infrastructure, increasing workforce and business-friendly culture makes it an ideal location for such an expansion of the IT sector.[14]

The Red Fort


Due to its history, central position and status as the nation's capital, Delhi is a common destination for tourists. Some common tourist attractions include the Red Fort, Qutb Minar, India Gate, Jama Masjid, Humayun's Tomb, Lotus Temple, Akshardham and the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Delhi's tourism sector makes up 5.6% of its GDP and the Delhi government considers it to be "high growth industry."[15] 62% of tourists and NRIs visiting India come to Delhi.[15]

The World Travel & Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated US$3.2 billion or 3.6% of the city's GDP in 2016 and supported 460,300 jobs, 8.3% of its total employment. The sector is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 10.8% to US$8.9 billion by 2026 (3.7% of GDP). Foreign tourists accounted for 35.5% of all tourism-related spending in Delhi in 2016. The largest source of foreign tourists visiting the city was the United States, which accounted for 11% of foreign tourist visits to the city.[16]

Real Estate[edit]

The real estate sector has been another growing industry within the NCR. It boomed in the 2000s and many Indians, induced by the soaring property prices, decided to invest in real estate, especially in the growing satellite cities of Gurgaon, Noida and Greater Noida.[17] At the real estate market's peak between 2001 and 2007, one could expect 20-30% annual returns or double their investment in about 3-5 years.[18] By 2013 however, demand for real estate began to decline, reaching an all-time low in 2016.[18] With sales plummeting and real estate firms ridden with debt, developers such as Unitech, Jaypee Infratech Ltd. and the Amrapali Group have slowed down progress on their development projects since they lack the necessary working capital.[17][18]

Greater Noida, one of Delhi's satellite cities

In response to the crisis, the Parliament of India passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 to protect home-buyers and the real estate industry.[19] The act created the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) which is responsible for regulating the real estate industry and for addressing disputes for non-delivery.[19] The act also makes it mandatory to register real projects with a clear deadline.[20] This was followed by the Modi government's demonetization of ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes. One of the stated aims of such an action was to curtail the widespread use of black money in real estate transactions.[21]

Greater compliance and transparency following the establishment of the RERA has had a stabilizing effect on the real estate market. Although the RERA has made it harder for new projects to launch, curtailing the supply-side of the real estate industry, demand has been increasing.[20] For now, except for Gurgaon which is experiencing marginal real estate growth, home values in the Delhi-NCR region remain stable.[22]


Another key sector of Delhi's economy is the transportation sector and the city has been investing in transport infrastructure projects.[23] More than half of the population in Delhi is dependent on local transport for commuting purposes.[24] Various methods of transportation thrive in Delhi, including the Delhi Metro, trains and buses.

Delhi Metro

The city's metro system in particular is a highly efficient public transport system that was initiated by the Delhi and Indian government in 1998. [25] In 2017, the Metro brought in a revenue of 5,388 crore.[26] That said, the Metro has been operating with a loss on a EBITDA basis for the past few years and, as of March 2016, its total debt stands at ₹291.5 billion. [26]

The state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) runs the world's largest fleet of CNG buses and one of India's largest bus transport systems.[27] Buses are a very popular means of transportation in Delhi, accounting for about 60% of Delhi's total transport demand.[28] Delhi used to have a Bus Rapid Transit System as well that was a much-vaunted project of the previous Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government however, due to criticisms over poor planning, the Aam Aadmi Party government dismantled the system in 2016.[29]

Rickshaws and auto-rickshaws (commonly known as Auto) are also popular. Cheap, environment-friendly and easily available, these rickshaws are used both by Delhi residents going on short commutes and tourists yearning for a joyride.

Indira Gandhi International Airport, the primary civilian aviation hub for the NCR, serves Delhi's domestic and international flights and is the busiest airport in India.[30] The airport contributes about 34.5% of the total trade transacted through all major airports of India.[31] It serves as a hub for Air India, GoAir, SpiceJet, IndiGo and AirAsia India.


As per the Economic survey of Delhi (2005–2006), Delhi's workforce constitutes 32.82% of the population, and increased by 52.52% between 1991 and 2001.[32] Delhi's unemployment rate decreased from 12.57% in 1999–2000 to 4.63% in 2003.[32] In December 2004, 636,000 people were registered with various employment exchange programmes in Delhi.[32] In 2001 the total workforce in national and state governments and the quasi-government sector was 620,000, and the private sector employed 219,000.[32]

The workforce participation rate for Delhi residents aged above 15 years was 40.8% in 2015-16, lower than the 41.8% recorded in 2012-13. Delhi's workforce participation rate is lower than the national average of 50.5%.[1]


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  17. ^ a b Sukumar, R. (31 July 2015). "Realty Bites". Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  18. ^ a b c Sharma, Ashwini Kumar (5 July 2018). "2018, the year real estate died". Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  19. ^ a b "What is the Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA)? Here is how it will help buyers". The Indian Express. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
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