The Nitish Kumar government appeared to arrest drift in governance by pushing education, infrastructure development and power self-sufficiency its in its revenue surplus Budget of Rs 11,980 crore. The state recorded a fiscal deficit of Rs 13,584 crore and the per capita income was Rs 15,650 as against the national average of Rs 39,904.
The Opposition, however, called it a “populist Budget in an election year” and asked why the government failed to achieve its targets envisaged in the previous Budgets.
Presenting Rs 10,3189 crore Budget for 2015-16, Finance Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav said: “The Budget is in consonance with inclusive development vision of the Chief Minister. The budget is not about consumerism, but about development of rural Bihar. Our CM is open to meeting PM for state’s development. BJP should know PM is not of a party, but of everyone.”
While education topped the priorities of the government which set aside Rs 22,027 crore for it, the Budget’s USP was funding for power generation. “In November 2013, power supply in peak hour used to be between 2000-2200 mw, it has reached 2831 mw in October 2014,” said Yadav, adding the government has earmarked Rs 4,058 crore from plan outlay for the energy sector.
Former deputy CM and BJP legislature party leader Sushil Kumar Modi, however, said: “We had expected some good announcements, especially in a poll year. But the Budget has been disappointing.”