Mizoram is a state in Northeast India, with Aizawl as its capital city. Within the northeast region, it is the southernmost landlocked state, sharing borders with three of the Seven Sister States, namely Tripura, Assam and Manipur. The state also shares a 722 kilometre border with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar. The Congress government presently rules the state.
Assembly elections in Mizoram are scheduled to be held in single phase on November 28, 2018.
Mizoram gross state domestic product (GSDP) in 2011-2012 was about ₹6,991 crore (US$970 million). The state's gross state domestic product (GSDP) growth rate was nearly 10% annually over 2001-2013 period. With international borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar, it is an important port state for southeast Asian imports to India, as well as exports from India.
The biggest contributors to state's GSDP growth are Agriculture, Public Administration and Construction work. Tertiary sector of service sector continued to have the contribution to the GSDP with its share hovering between 58 per cent and 60 per cent during the past decade.
As of 2013, according to the Reserve Bank of India, 20.4% of total state population is below poverty line, about same as the 21.9% average for India. Rural poverty is significantly higher in Mizoram, with 35.4% below the poverty line compared to India's rural poverty average of 25.7; while in urban areas of Mizoram, 6.4% are below the poverty line.
Mizoram has a highly literate work force, with literacy rate of nearly 90% and widespread use of English. The state has a total of 4,300 kilometres of roads of which 927 kilometres are high quality national highways and 700 kilometres of state highways. The state is developing its Kolodyne river for navigation and international trade. Mizoram's airport is at the capital city of Aizawl. The state is a power deficit state, with plans to develop its hydroelectric potential. After agriculture, the major employer of its people include handloom and horticulture industries. Tourism is a growth industry. In 2008, the state had nearly 7,000 registered companies. The state government has been implementing Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to encourage economic growth.
Like the Assam election in 2016, the Mizoram election in 2018 may see illegal immigration from neighbouring countries such as Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal become one of the most important issues. PTI reported in October 2017 that the state unit of BJP urged the Congress government in the state to detect and deport foreigners who have illegally entered the state from neighbouring countries. In December, a conglomerate of major civil societies and student associations of Mizoram urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that all illegal immigrants, especially Chakmas from Bangladesh, are deported.
Infrastructure development will also likely be a key issue. During a public meeting in Aizawl in December, Modi said that the development of the Rih-Tiddim road and establishment of various rural ‘haat’ (flee markets) along the Mizoram-Myanmar will increase the volume of trade state. Modi had also said that the Centre launched the North East Special Infrastructure Scheme (NESIS) to fill in the gaps in basic facilities.
Unemployment is also one of the biggest problem. According to Indiaspend, the rapid development is not creating enough jobs and livelihood. Poverty is also an issue, with 20.40 percent of the population living below the poverty line in 2011-12. The two main reasons for poverty in the state are under-developed agriculture and unskilled labour. Tribals practise traditional and unscientific ‘jhum’ or slash-and-burn method of cultivation, in which land is cleared and vegetation burned to make way for new cultivable land.
The Bru refugee issue also continues to haunt the government. Its decision to undertake the physical repatriation of over 32,000 Brus lodged in six relief camps in North Tripura district from the second week of February could not take off due to legal reasons.
Officials who conducted the identification in the Tripura camps last year identified 32,857 people from 5,413 families as bona fide residents of Mizoram and for physical repatriation. However, the Supreme Court instructed the Mizoram government to not go ahead with the proposed repatriation process.
The Brus have been lodged in the camps since 1997 following exodus from Mizoram due to communal tension triggered by the murder of a forest official by Bru militants.