Patna: If Bihar, India’s basket case, gets it right, then there is stopping India in its march to properity. And according to a recent study, Bihar, unlike the public impression created in the media, gets it right. A huge amount of credit for that must go to the former Chief Minister, Nishit Kumar, who stepped down following the BJP win in the general elections. Bihar has topped low income states in fiscal management, clocking highest growth rate of over 66 percent and about 284 percent in terms of states’ own tax and non-tax revenues, says an Assocham study.
Bihar’s own tax and non-tax revenues surged respectively from over Rs.12,600 crore to over Rs.20,900 crore and from about Rs.890 crore to over Rs.3,400 crore during 2011-12 and 2013-14.
With a median value of 13.13 per cent of nominal gross state domestic product (GDP) between 2006 and 2012, Bihar has emerged as a leader among traditionally backward states, the study titled “States’ Finances Convergence-2,” says.
“Bihar has effectively invested in rural roads, irrigation, agricultural growth, education and public health to give such boost to its economy at the grassroots level,” said R.L. Khetan, co- chairman, Assocham Bihar Council. With and D.S. Rawat, national secretary general of Assocham, he released the chamber’s study at a press conference here Thursday.
“The wide introduction of value added tax (VAT) at state-level has significantly raised low income states’ revenue from their own taxes despite many glitches at an early stage and they are now converging towards growth rate of high income states,” the study says.
Bihar’s annual trend growth rate of per-capita income (PCI) has also taken a great leap forward from 1.1 percent during 1980-93 and 1.7 percent during 1993-2004, achieving a 7.2 percent trend growth during 2004-13.
It tells a great story of a determined state government taking a state forward even after it does not have mineral-rich south of the earlier united Bihar, highlighted the study by the Assocham Economic Research Bureau (AERB).
Bihar’s GSDP growth in 2012-13 was revised 5 point upward to 14.48 percent, claiming structural shift away from agriculture to construction and services.
Besides, the state also claimed poverty reduction from 53.8 percent in 2009-10 to 2011-12 to 33.7 per cent, which is still above national average.
The emerging picture of growth of states shows that while the high-income states in the country continue to grow, the low-income states are also catching up with them, the study says.
“This augurs well for immediate future as India’s growth story pumped up by young middle class aspirations and political leadership that has to respond to it in democratic set up, enters a further phase of take off.”