Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today strongly contested CSO estimate of a sharp decline of about 5.88 percentage points in growth rate of Bihar, asserting that the state was marching ahead on the path of development.
The CM dismissed the estimation of the CSO of Bihar’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at 7.14 per cent in 2015-16 as against 13.02 per cent in 2014-15, a decline of 5.88 percentage point, while delivering his speech at historic Gandhi Maidan on the occasion of 70th Independence Day.
Citing the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) figures, the opposition BJP and NDA partners have attacked the Grand Secular Alliance government in Bihar headed by Kumar.
Kumar said: “In 2005-6, when the people of Bihar for the first time gave me the opportunity to serve them, the size of annual budget was Rs 22,600 crore which increased to Rs 1.44 lakh crore in current budget for 2016-17.
“If somebody fails to see the economic development I can not help them. But, figures prove how fast the development has taken place in the state.” Likewise, he said, the plan expenditure was Rs 4,300 crore in 2005-6 which increased to Rs 53,400 crore in 2015-16 fiscal.
Revenue collection which was Rs 3,500 crore in 2005-6 rose to Rs 2,54,00 crore in 2015-16, he added. Kumar stated that average growth rate of the state has been above 10 per cent at constant price in the last 10 years.
The Bihar Chief Minister said his government has pursued inclusive growth strategy which cared for development of everybody unlike the approach pursued at the national level which has created “island of development” but left many others lagging behind.
Kumar said his government coming up with policy of governance for the next five year from 2015-20 with focus on agriculture, human skill development, education, health and strengthening infrastructure.
He pointed to “seven resolves” adopted by his government as policy of governance for next five year which reserves 35 per cent of seats in state jobs for women among others.
The CM said it includes providing drinking water to all households at an estimated cost of Rs 8,500 crore, toilet in every home at Rs 10,800 crore and electricity to every household at an expenditure of Rs 1,900 crore.
Under attack from opposition on some stringent provisions added in the new Liquor law, Kumar invoked Mahatma Gandhi who he said wrote in “Young India” in 1928 that alcohol consumption is a bad disease which should be cured at all cost.