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Bihar budget aimed at development
March, 02nd 2012

Replying to the two-day debate on the 2012-13 budget in the state legislative assembly on Thursday, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said that this is a growth-oriented budget aimed at economic reparation with development.

He said in the last five years, Bihar had taken strides to be among the fast-moving states, but the legacy of poor development and addition of 25% population every 10 years were the factors coming in the way of the state's bid to reach the national average of per capita income. Bihar also could not get the benefit of the policy of liberalization, which benefited mostly the western and southern states while the first Green Revolution benefited Punjab and Haryana. A great chasm was created and Bihar slid down substantially, Modi said.

He said in 2005-06, the state's per capita income was Rs 7,813 and had risen to Rs 15,268 in 2010-11. Modi said a national-level economist had stated at the recent global meet that if the additional fund of Rs 180 per person given in a year to Bihar under the Backward Region Development Fund ( BDRF) was increased to Rs 25,295 per person then after 10 years, Bihar might match the frontline states in the country and reach the national average of the per capita income.

Despite making efforts for pacing up the development rate, it is difficult for Bihar to match the frontline states without getting the special category state status, he said. Modi added that the situation is such that the Centre had, under the Sarva Shisksha Abhiyan ( SSA) in 2011-12, provided Bihar only Rs 21,000 crore out of Rs 38,000 crore provided in the central budget for Bihar. The Centre had given Rs 17,000 crore less to Bihar for the current financial year under the Total Literacy Mission, he added.

Modi said capital expenditure from the budget allocations had improved from 8% in 2005 to 20% in 2010-11 and development expenditure had improved from 39% in 2003-04 to 52% in 2010-11. But all this would not help in economic reparation of Bihar hence the grant of special category state status to Bihar with sufficient fund is essential for its redemption.

Modi said a recent trend is that the Centre is promoting plantation of cash crops in Punjab and Haryana in a big way.

He said the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) was also pro-northern states where it supplied power at cheaper rates from the thermal power stations using coal from Jharkhand and supplied power to Bihar at higher rates by realizing freight surcharge on the supplied power for the imported coal used in the NTPC plants supplying power to Bihar. Modi said a Karnataka minister had recently visited Patna with his official team to study the Bihar model of the RTI.

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