(Bihar Times): If the dramatic growth rate of 16 per cent in GSDP(Gross State Domestic Product) indicated in the Economic Survey of 2007-08 was correct than Bihar witnessed a huge decline in the following year, that is, 2008-09. This year it registered a growth rate of just 2.41 per cent (Table 1.7 Economic survey 2008- 09)
Tabled by deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi in the Bihar assembly on Tuesday it shows growth in three sectors–– construction (21.53 per cent), communications (16.01 per cent) and trade, hotels and restaurants (12.03 per cent). The developments in the first two sectors is mostly possible because of several big projects taken up by the various central ministries and private sectors (especially telecom companies)
So far the state’s achievement is concerned agriculture grew by just 1.38 per cent, which is much lower than the desired four per cent growth. The state’s finance minister attributed it to two successive severe floods. Once again the last year Economic Survey showed 24.4 per cent fall in the agriculture growth and on that occasion too flood was held responsible. What remained a mystery is that in the last financial year the overall growth rate was shown at 16 per cent when the Economic Survey also said that there was 24.4 per cent fall in agriculture growth in the same period.
In spite of this perfect packaging, the Economic Survey showed that the growth rate was lower than the national average growth rate of six to seven per cent. However, it claimed that it is still higher than what it was in the past when the state economy grew at barely three to four per cent.
Whatever the state government may claim now the truth, however, is that the state registered an average growth rate of 4.89 per cent between 1992-93 and 2003-04, which was a phenomenal performance during those period of low GDP. In 2000-2001 Bihar, under the much-maligned Rabri Devi government, registered the growth rate of 5.97, which was highest since independence. This was achieved at the time when the central investment was much less.
This year’s Economy Survey is unique in other aspects too. It talked of “improved law and order situation in the state”. In normal condition law and order is not the subject for the Economic Survey to discuss.
However, Modi said that “I know law and order is not generally mentioned in an economic survey but it is an important indicator for commercial activities in Bihar.”
The Survey said that the use of chemical fertilizers by farmers has increased by over 62 per cent, yet what is surprising is that the farm growth has increased by just 1.38 per cent. On the industrial front, it points out that 15 out of the 164 approved proposals have already been implemented with one of them ready for production. As many as 49 proposals with a total investment of about Rs 23,000 crore are in an advanced stage of implementation. It also talks of growth in the tourism sector in Bihar.
The Survey talks about achievements in education and health sector. For example, the enrolment, according to it, in primary schools during the last four years has increased by over 28 per cent and in case of scheduled caste children by over 35 per cent. But if a recent media report is to be believed the figure of high enrolment has been highly inflated by the officials as they want to lift more and more food for the mid-day meal programme. Similarly, in the health sector much is possible because of the massive doze of medicines by the Centre under the National Rural Health Mission launched in 2006.
The Survey talks of increased commercial activities of five regional rural banks (RRBs). In comparison the commercial banks witnessed a slight decline during 2007-08. They gave credit to the tune of Rs 17,202 crore. The figure of RRBs stand at Rs 3,678 crore in the same period. It says that by increasing revenue and rationalising expenditure, the state has generated a surplus of Rs 4,647 crore.
The Survey claimed that the economy is well set to achieve most of the 11th Plan target, especially those related to the development in the social sector.
This year’s Economic Survey seems to be loaded with more realistic and accurate facts and figures than the last year’s which claimed 16 per cent. The state government was taken to task by several experts on that occasion yet it stood by what it said in its Survey. However, this year the Survey unnecessarily went on to highlight law and order issue which is never its purpose.
*(The author is a Patna-based free lance journalist).
Yes, mr . mithilesh u should definitely feel pity on your birthplace because instead of crying foul people like u don’t know anything else to do ,from Germany its very easy to show sympathy an act as If u care a lot for bihar but truth is u are all opportunistic who took advantage of our talented state and flew to other place for enjoyment , instead of doing any constructive thing for us and spreading positive message u r totally against us do I need to tell u the positives of us like our talent,hardwork excellent human skills and lot of natural resources.I will be suggesting u to come atleast visit once ur birthplace and then comment certainly u will be seeing tremendous change in every aspect .
Thanks for your time and collecting lots of data related from Economy and History . I feel the goverment is doing best at his level and I am agree with other comments except to Mr. Mithilesh. Its not a very easy task to change corruption and other bad things in 2-3 years when the problem is more deeper. But, I think things are changing slowly. I always appreciate to bring negative side of the goverment in public knowledge but it must be focussed on positive part as well. I hope Mr. Mithilesh will be optimistic in the future.
We appreciate your response. Yes, the editor should look after factual errors but we in our news-portal give full freedom to the writers to react. In Bihar no English daily is giving space to readers now. This is a significant departure from the past.
So far small factual errors are concerned we tend to ignore them as it does not matter much. But we normally correct errors like the one committed by you. You wrote Mahesh k Singh (sic) in place of Mithilesh K Singh. Whether Mithilesh is writing crap or nonsense it is his birthright to do so, but the journalistic ethics say that we must be guarded in spelling the name rightly.
Sometimes the writers are so reckless and careless that we fail to make out any sense and we publish them the way they had written. For example, we have left the following line written by you as it is: “But you should do not oppose just for the heck of it.”
To err is human and we do understand that writers do commit mistakes. Not to speak of small errors, a reputed Business daily of India last year published that the per capita income of Patna was Rs 31,000, when the actual figure was not even half of that. The per capital income of India then was just over Rs 29,000.
Last year the dailies of Bihar published the story of 16 per cent growth rate, which was a grave factual error. We in our portal exposed this serious mistake. The Economic Survey (2008-09) of the state government also carried many serious errors, which Soroor Ahmed, in his article pointed out.
It would be wrong to state that we never carry positive stories on Bihar. Our portal has never missed any positive development of the state in the last so many years. We are not concerned as to who is in power––the good works have always been highlighted and negative developments criticized. We are greatly concerned that many of our friends in the media are not doing that job sincerely. Whosoever is in power they tend to write in their favour, which is not fair journalism.
Thanks & Regards,
editor, Bihar Times
The comments needs to be vetted before they are released. Mahesh k Singh doesnot know that the state is ruled by the NDA, which is an alliance of BJP and JD (U). Just because the guy does not like BJP he will write any crap. The Editor should look after. Also, he does not know that Bihar is not Buddha's birth place. It is Lumbini, which is in Nepal. One should refrain from commenting nonsense.
And to Mr Soroor Ahmed: Your articles clearly show that you do not like the present NDA government in Bihar. You keep opposing everything by them. Though i agree with you on your article on Nitish Kumar's rickshaw ride for the movie. But you should do not oppose just for the heck of it.
And Yes, If you could get a chance to write against the policies of the government that is because the present incumbent has a vision and strategy on which they are working. The last government lacked everything.
So, though you should keep opposing the government, You should also write on good things done by them, which obviously u will find very easily.
This government is master in PR job. I am not surprised. BJP is master in propaganda politics and BJP is a partner in Bihar government . Nitish is leaveraging the available resources which are at the disposal of BJP to enhance the image of himself and his government. It is true that there are lots of investments from Central government and inspite of that the growth of Bihar is dismal.
Now I am loosing hope of change and prosperity from Nitish Jee also, I don't know who can be the option then? Lalu ruined the state like anything, Paswan does not have the vision / calibre / capacity. Ramvilas is a politician (among our three top politician) who relies on the Goodas the most. Except for him all other faces in his party are murderers.
O BUDHHA!! Don't you feel pity on your own birthplace?? Please show your grace on us and come again to your and our beloved land, and take us out of this ruin..
Mithilesh K Singh