Bihar Budget 2018: How Nitish Kumar-ruled state beat India’s national growth rate

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Patna | Updated: February 27, 2018 1:41:34 PM

Bihar Budget 2018: The state's projected growth rate of 10.3 in the last fiscal was even higher than the national average (around 7%).

bihar budget nitish kumar suchil modiPatna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar interacts with Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi during the first day of the budget session of State Assembly in Patna on Monday. PTI photo

Bihar Budget 2018: Despite political turbulence in 2016-2017, the state managed a healthy growth rate in the last financial year. Not just that, the state’s projected growth rate of 10.3 in the last fiscal was even higher than the national average (around 7%). This was revealed in the latest Economic Survey tabled in the state Assembly by Bihar finance minister Sushil Modi on Monday.

As per the 12th Economic Survey of Bihar, the state has seen a consistent growth in revenue. Bihar’s revenue surplus increased from Rs 5,101 crore in 2012 to Rs 10,819 crore in 2016-17. Modi told reporters on Monday that the state’s surplus is projected to be Rs 14,556 crore during 2017-18 as a result of “better financial management”.

Gross Financial Deficit (GFD) increased by Rs 4,418 crore in 2016-17. In 2015-16, this increased by Rs 883 crore only. In the current fiscal, Modi said that GFD may rise to Rs 18,112 crore.

According to Survey, the main drivers of growth in the state are services sector, transport, storage, communication, manufacturing, mining, and quarrying.

In the manufacturing sector, the Survey said that as many as 2942 factories out of 3530 reported in 2014-15 Survey are operational. This is also higher than the national average in terms of percentage.

The road density in the state is 289 km per 100 square km. This is also higher than the national average of 139.1 km but behind Kerala and Bengal.

From 2011, the number of registered vehicles has increased up to 11 percent every year. Similarly, power availability in the state has witnessed a whopping 120 percent increase in the last six years. Between 2011-12 and 2016-17, the power availability in Bihar increased from 1712 MW to 3769 MW.

Impact of prohibition

Modi said that there has been a considerable impact of prohibition on the crime rate in the state. The highest decrease was recorded in kidnapping for ransom (66.6%), which was followed by murder (28.3%) and dacoity (22.8%).

The last Economic Survey of the state had pinned hope on Industrial Investment Promotion Policy (IIPP) – 2016 to touch annual growth of 15% in the industrial sector. The survey estimates that people of the state have saved around Rs 5280 crore since the imposition of prohibition.

Grand Alliance worked?

The opposition Congress claimed that the survey shows that the Grand Alliance government worked.

“The economic survey tabled in the Bihar Assembly today celebrates the achievements of the Grand Alliance
government. During the period surveyed (2016-17), the Grand Alliance was in power in the state. Hence, the credit goes to Grand Alliance. The BJP had no role to play”, Sadanand Singh, Congress Legislature Party leader, was quoted as saying by PTI in a statement.

Singh claimed, “The figures bear testimony to development works of the Grand Alliance government. The survey also proves that during the 20 months it remained in power, the Grand Alliance had performed beyond expectations.”

The Congress leader claimed that red-tapism has hit the state ever since Kumar joined hands with BJP last year, affecting people involved in construction activities and rendered many jobless.

The 2016-17 Economic Survey of the state had said that Bihar clocked a growth rate of 7.6 percent in the last fiscal.

Interestingly, even the last year’s growth rate was higher than the national average of 6.8 per cent last financial year.

The survey this year has quoted most of the data from 2016-17 when Grand Alliance was in power.

The economic numbers of this year show the state is growing fast. According to the latest Economic Survey, the state witnessed a 21.1 percent rise in rice production at 82.8 lakh tonne, while the wheat production increased from 47.36 lakh ton in 2015-16 to 59.86 lakh tonne in 2016-17.

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