Bihar records 11.95% growth, highest among states
PATNA: Despite global economic slowdown and sagging domestic demand, Bihar has managed to record 11.95% annual growth rate, the highest among all the states, during the 11th Plan period.
According to the Economic Survey 2012-13 tabled by deputy CM and finance minister Sushil Kumar Modi in the state legislature on Tuesday, Bihar almost remained untouched by the overall global slowdown but for some side effects in 2012-13.
But the state’s per capita income of Rs 25,653 at current prices is still far behind the national average of Rs 60,972 in 2011-12. “Our gross state domestic product (GSDP) at 2004-05 prices is Rs 1.52 lakh crore which is estimated to rise to Rs 2.53 lakh crore at current prices in 2011-12,” Modi said.
The problem of low income in Bihar is accentuated by considerable disparity across the districts in terms of their per capita income. In 2009-10, Patna, with per capita income of Rs 55,539, Munger with Rs18,669 and Bhagalpur with Rs14,396 have been the most prosperous districts whereas Sheohar has Rs 5,552, Madhepura (Rs 7.161) and Supaul (Rs 7,213) remained at the bottom.
Modi said the state government had an outstanding debt of Rs 44,475 crore in 2007-08, which is 39% of its GSDP. By 2011-12, it declined substantially to 24% even though the outstanding debt increased to Rs 60,551 crore. Incidentally, it was 53% in 2001-02.
Bihar’s gross fiscal deficit (GFD) was only Rs 3,971 crore in 2010-11 but it sharply increased to Rs 5,915 crore in the subsequent year. In 2012-13, it is projected to rise further to Rs 7,569 crore due to higher capital investment.
The survey claimed growth in the state’s own tax revenue, increasing from Rs 5,086 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 12,612 crore in 2011-12. The non-tax revenue has jumped from Rs 526 crore to Rs 890 crore during the same period. “The state’s own tax revenue has increased to 4.99% of the GSDP,” said principal finance secretary Rameshwar Singh.
“The image of Bihar has undergone a change in recent years, thanks to high growth rate of its economy and accompanying developments in social sectors. This was made possible primarily through the efforts of the state government which utilized its limited resources in a prudent manner,” said Modi.
The state, according to the survey, has been showing a continuous revenue surplus since 2004-05. This surplus had reached to Rs 6,316 crore in 2010-11, the highest ever level, before falling to Rs 4,821 crore in 2011-12.
In agriculture sector, the production of cereals in 2011-12 was 172 lakh tonnes, compared to 104 lakh tonnes in previous fiscal. The production of rice increased to a new high of 8.2 million tonnes against 3.1 million tonnes in 2010-11. The use of ‘Sri’ technique was an important factor in the bumper rice production.
The survey states that Bihar has a total of 1.92 lakh registered units under micro, small and medium enterprises involving a total investment of Rs 1,941 crore and employing 6.30 lakh persons in 2012. Altogether 11 sugar mills were operational in 2011-12 and a total of 488.30 lakh quintals of sugarcane were crushed and produced 45.10 lakh quintals of sugar.
Up to September 2012, the State Investment Promotion Bureau has approved total 939 proposals for setting up industrial units involving an investment of Rs 3.19 lakh crore with employment potential of 2.27 lakh persons.
To a query about CM Nitish Kumar’s assertion that Bihar will take another 25 years to come on a par with developed states at this pace of development and the kind of investment required, ADRI’s member secretary Shaibal Gupta said as per a rough estimate, an yearly investment of Rs 40,000 crore is needed to reach the national average of growth. But he hastened to add that it was not very accurate estimate.