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City Economy

Varanasi Economy

Varanasi is counted among most popular cities of Uttar Pradesh state. Due to tourism in Varanasi, it remains in lime-light and attraction among visitors. This city is believed to be among oldest cities of world and is located on the bank of holy Narmada river. Tourism in Varanasi has always been the main source of income for Varanasi people. In addition to this service sector has also grown in city due to presence of Varanasi Cantonment, establishment of Indian Railways factory. In terms of agriculture, Varanasi is gifted with fertile agricultural land in nearby areas. Being located on the bank of Ganges river, city is gifted with fertile land which fulfills all the food grain need of people and provides them employment and earning. Although city is counted among oldest cities of world but still economic progress of Varanasi is slow and no major changes has been seen in post independence time. Here we have tried to explore various factors that affects Varanasi city economy and play important role in local people economy.

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Traditional Economy
In past, it is more sacred tourism than leisure tourism. But now a days, character of tourism is changing. Hindus from all over the India, would try to pay visit to this holy land and city of lord Shiva. In addition to tourism, agriculture was also the important occupation of Benaras people. Land adjoining to Ganges river are very fertile and agriculture on such land is a profitable occupation for Varanasi people. In terms of manufacturing units, handloom industry in Varanasi had played a major role in trade and commerce. Sarees manufactured in Varanasi are popular in India by the name of "Benarasi Sarees". A section of society was more dependent on this industry. So in past we can say Handloom Industry, Agriculture and Sacred tourism had controlled the Varanasi economy and still these factors are playing important role.

Current Scenario
Varanasi city economy is based on sectors like tourism, handloom, handicraft, educational, hospitality and Government sector. Tourism controls approx. 50% of city economy. Many other sectors are dependent on tourism industry like hotels, lodges, restaurants, handicrafts, handloom, transport, aviation etc. Tourism has good support to these sectors. Being a pilgrimage destination, tourism is a evergreen source of income unlike in wildlife sector. It is the tourism that has spread Varanasi sarees, carpets, handicrafts and other products to different corners of the world. Tourism is the backbone of hotels and transport industry. Apart from tourism, Government sector is also generating limited impact of Varanasi tourism. Presence of Cantonment area, Railway Factory (Diesel Locomotive Works), Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited manufacturing plant etc. generates number of vacancy and creates a base of salaried people in local economy. Small scale industries, Cottage industries form an important base for the economy of the city. They are mostly un-organized and household manufacturing units who lacks in marketing skills. Around 11% of the total population is engaged across different manufacturing activities whereas the tertiary sector accounts for 6.80% of the total employment. Since independence, employment in agriculture is continuously decreasing. Here betel leaves and mango fruits are the commercial products of agriculture.

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