Bihar poised for impressive eco growth: Modi

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Patna, Feb 23: A record 16 per cent Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was registered in Bihar during the fiscal 2006-07 indicating the state had striven for ''unprecedented economic growth'' in the post-independence era.

Quoting the Economic Survey of Bihar for 2006-07, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds the Finance portfolio, told reporters last evening that average per capita small savings was Rs 264 in 2005-06 while it was Rs 191 in 2006-07. According to the figures available, per capita small savings was highest in Patna (Rs 675) while it was lowest in Araria (Rs 51), he said, adding that it was an indication that south Bihar districts were more prosperous in comparison to north Bihar districts.

Mr Modi said steps had been taken to introduce ''e-governance'' in the state to provide ''inclusive'' and ''transparent'' governance and it would also help in checking corruption.

''The Information Technology department was created in April, 2007, while the Bihar State Wide Area Network (BISWAN) project was awarded to TCS, a leading software company, to establish electronic communication between various districts and blocks in the state at the cost of Rs 256 crore,'' he added.

''The state government's own resources and resources from the Centre's calamity relief fund were pooled to deliver the largest ever relief programme launched to meet the situation arising from one of the worst floods witnessed this year,'' he said, adding that Rs 1,365 crore was spent on flood relief in 2007 while the figure was only Rs 231 crore in 2004, the year which had also witnessed devastating floods.

While referring to assistance from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) for carrying out various development and welfare schemes in the state, the Deputy Chief Minister said loans to the tune of Rs 8,300 crore had been sanctioned and it would be released in next six years.

The Bihar government was actively promoting public-private partnership in the industrial sector in the state and investment proposal of Rs 40,000 crore had already been approved.

In view of the natural advantage, Bihar had vast potential to grow in agro-based industries and priority was being accorded to sugar industries while giving clearance to investment proposal in industrial sector, he added.

While referring to poverty alleviation schemes, Mr Modi said under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP), 65,40,205 households were issued job cards in the current year of which 36.09 per cent demanded employment and 35.95 per cent were provided employment.

The programme had generated 493 lakh person days of employment for 23,51,012 households during the current year, he added.

''Through higher mobilisation of resources and rationalisation of expenditure, the state government has been able to contain the deficit in the state budget, the Gross Fiscal Deficit is at 3.03 per cent which is very close to the limits set by the Fiscal Responsibility Budget Management Act (FRBMA),'' he said, adding that the state government had not compromised on development expenditure which now accounted for a larger part of its total expenditure.

UNI

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