World Bank lauds Bihar's development, may double loans to $1 bn

Reason to smile
Patna, Sept 10:  Appreciating the double digit growth rate logged by Bihar under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the World Bank today said it may consider doubling soft loan, to around USD 1 billion, for accelerating development works in the state over the next couple of years.

Bihar has made good progress and registered a double digit growth rate under the leadership of Kumar, World Bank Country Director (India) Onno Ruhl told reporters here, adding that the state must sustain the growth rate to catch up with the rest of the country in terms of development.

In order to grow at a fast clip, he said, Bihar needs lots of investment for which the bank has been asked by the Union Finance Ministry to hike investment. Ruhl said that the previous government - which was led by RJD - had pressed the 'pause button' to suppress development as against 'play button' pressed by the incumbent Chief Minister.

He lauded Kumar for making human resources development his key priority in addition to improvement in law and order situation and infrastructure development.

"Bihar is important to us and we may consider doubling up assistance in the next couple of years from 500 million dollar at present," Ruhl said. He identified segments of development for assistance in Bihar and said that the international donor has been supporting the state government's programmes like teachers' training, secondary education for girls and health care.

"We also propose to provide assistance under other schemes like construction of road for habitats with 200 people, power distribution, tourism and agriculture roadmap," he said.


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