The Bihar government has said the state has been revenue surplus for the past seven years,even as the Opposition termed the 2013-14 budget as ‘anti-people’ and ‘anti-poor’.
Bihar has kept its finances within the Finance Commission guidelines and the fiscal deficit remained under three per cent of GSDP as mandated by Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM),Finance Minister S K Modi said while replying to a debate in the Assembly on the budget.
It has been a revenue surplus state for the past seven years,Modi said.
Nitish Kumar is the chief minister of Bihar.
Outstanding loans and other liabilities have been pegged at only 24 per cent of the GSDP as against the stipulation of up to 43 per cent by the Finance Commission,while the burden on loan and interest repayment stood at eight per cent as against the requirement of 15 per cent.
The state government has worked hard to raise its own tax revenues and as a result,the collection has increased to about Rs 20,000 crore in 2012-13 as against Rs 4,000 crore in 2005-06,he said.
It does not have to seek overdraft from RBI or borrow money to pay salaries and other plan expenditure,which has risen to about Rs 38,000 crore at present,he said.
The government has created a fund with RBI three years ago and deposited up to Rs 1,000 crore and will continue to park small amounts in future,so that the money could be used in times of distress,Modi said.
Claiming there has been rapid development in Bihar since NDA came to power in 2005 and the growth rate had entered double-digit zone,he said the government would like to generate more resources through various means to maintain the growth and cater to the aspirations of the people.
Earlier,Leader of Opposition A B Siddique tore into the budget saying that the state government has indulged in “jugglery of data” to hoodwink and confuse people about the growth story which was a “mirage” as far the Opposition was concerned.
The state’s debt has mounted and there has been no progress in industrialisation,particularly in the power sector,where the NDA government has not added even 1 MW of electricity since coming to power seven years ago,he said.
He added that there was nothing in the budget for the poor,minorities,OBCs and other deprived and downtrodden sections.
Modi was,however,candid in conceding limitations of the state’s revenue generation capacity given its overwhelming dependence on agriculture and urged the Centre to grant special status to Bihar so that it could spare additional funds on development and welfare measures.
Charging the state government with indulging in false propaganda on development,Siddique sought to know whether there has been improvement on indices like manufacturing,export,industrialisation or private investment.
He also charged the state government with misappropriation of Rs 12,000 crore by non-submission of the Detailed Contingency (DC) bills to the Principal Accountant
General (PAG) by March 2012 out of about Rs 30,000 crore withdrawn from the treasury on account of Abstract Contingency (AC) bills.
This was refuted by Modi promptly who said bills up to Rs 7,000 crore remained to be settled with the PAG which would be done by March 2013.
RJD MLAs staged a walk out to protest against the state government’s financial mismanagement before Modi could complete his reply to the debate on the budget.