In a veiled attack on Narendra Modi on Gujarat’s industrial development model,Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said that inclusive growth model being implemented in his state was a better alternative as it caters to aspirations of all people.
The GDP growth can not be measured as a yardstick for development,but inclusive development does as it takes care of aspirations of all people,he said after hoisting the national tricolour on the occasion of the country’s 67th Independence day celebrations at the Gandhi Maidan here.
“The GDP growth and a development model that benefits some people only can not be described as a good model,but inclusive growth and development with social justice agenda with a motto to benefit all people indeed is a good model,” Kumar said.
The fruits of development must go to common man under a development model and we have rightly adopted the principle of inclusive growth and development with an agenda of social justice that caters to aspiration of rich and poor,upper castes to OBCs and SC/SCs,women and children,he said.
Kumar expressed disapproval of his Gujarat counterpart’s thrust on industrial development and the GDP growth to make his style statement at the national level and said that Bihar has never been known for industrial production as it does not have port like some states have,but our land has rich cultural heritage and it has been a centre for knowledge and learning since ancient times.
“We pride ourselves for rich cultural heritage located in our state since the ancient times….Bihar has been a place of great culture and centres of learning like Vaishali,Nalanda,Vikramshila,” the Chief Minister said.
“Our state has been known to have framed laws of statecraft and the civil society and this has been our contributions to the world,” Kumar said.
We must pride ourselves for our rich cultural heritage since the ancient time,he said and sought create the sense of ‘Bihari’ pride among the people.
Kumar sought to rally the people of Bihar behind him on the special status agenda by asking the Centre to concede the rightful demand of the people of the state to fulfil their aspirations of development.
“We have been pressing the Centre to grant special status to Bihar to accelerate development and recognize our efforts in this direction during recent years,” he said. Bihar and its people,too,want to participate in development process for not only our own prosperity,but to make valuable contributions to the national GDP at 10 per cent as against 2.5 per cent at present,Kumar said.
Stating that an experts’ committee headed by the Union Finance ministry’s Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram Rajan has completed deliberations on framing new parameters of backwardness of state and will submit its report soon,the Chief Minister said that he would not like to settle foranything less than grant of special status to Bihar.
“We are awaiting the experts’ panel report as well as the Centre’s decision on it….but we want to settle for nothing less than special status to Bihar,” he said. Not ruling out agitations if the Centre does not concede the special status demand,Kumar said that if Bihar gets the special status it is fine,otherwise the people will carry out concerted campaign to press for their demand.
With next general elections less than a year away,Kumar announced sops for the girls students and contractual teachers. He said that the girl students from Class I to X will be given scholarships,while the salaries of the contractual teachers in the schools under the panchayat and urban bodies will be hiked by Rs 3000 per month from September this year. The Chief Minister also announced construction of three bridges on the rivers Ganga,Sone and Gandak at a cost of Rs 1700 crore to improve road connectivity in several districts for convenience of the people.
Kumar also reiterated his resolution made during speech in the last year’s Independence day celebrations that he will not seek votes from the people in the next Assembly polls if he failed to improve power scenario in Bihar by then and said that he maintained his position in this regard.
The electricity supply has indeed improved over the past many years as availability of the commodity increased to 2000 MW this year against 1300 MW last year and the same will go up to 3000 MW next year and 4000 MW in 2015,he said,adding that the state government was all set to achieve its target of 24×7 electricity in urban areas and minimum 12 hours in rural years in the next couple of years.
The distribution and transmission infrastructure for expeditious and uninterrupted power supply to the consumers remains a major concern,he said,adding that a joint venture has been set up with the Power Grid Corporation to lay down transmission lines in the entire state. Kumar also exuded confidence that the ultra mega power projects at Chausa,Pirpaiti,Buxar and Navinagar,besides renovation of thermal power plants in Barauni and Kanti willbe completed in due course of time to make Bihar a self sufficient state in the power sector.
On the law and order situation,the Chief Minister expressed concern at riots taking place in Bihar recently saying that attempts have been made to destroy peace and communal amity at some places.
While the government has been trying to maintain law and order situation,the people too should take upon themselves a responsibility to ensure that peace and communal amity prevailed in Bihar,he said. On corruption,the Chief Minister announced a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards the scourge and said that the ongoing process to confiscate ill-gotten wealth of corrupt public servants have been expedited and added that all those properties will be used as schools and other public utilities as has been done in the recent past.
We are committed to make Bihar a crime and corruption free state,he said. Kumar also sought to generate hope for a better future for the people of Bihar saying that the state government has launched an agriculture road map to boost farm production to ensure prosperity of the farmers and sustenance of other people from this sector.
A staggering 89 per cent of our people live in rural areas of which 76 per cent depend on farming for livelihood,he said,adding that it was essential to ensure agriculture growth to cater to food grain demand for ever growing population.
The agriculture road map will take care of growth of agriculture and allies sectors in the years to come and ensure not only prosperity of the farmers,but abundant production of food grains to meet demands of domestic consumption,the Chief Minister said,adding that our farmers have beaten world records in yield of paddy and potato.
On the drought-like situation prevailing in Bihar due to rainfall deficit,he said such a scenario loomed over,but he was still hopeful of a good rainfall in the days to come as has been forecast by the weathermen. The rainfall deficit has been to a tune of 27 per cent less than normal,Kumar said,adding that the drought situation was grim than floods in Bihar. He said that the state government has sanctioned Rs 784 crore to provide diesel subsidy to the farmers for watering of their standing crops.
Kumar said that he has asked the officials to constantly monitor the drought situation and prepare a report so that necessary steps could be taken to mitigate hardships to the farmers and others depended on farming for livelihood.