Bihar’s Economic Growth
Sandesh Sigdel, 10330
Economy of Bihar: An introduction
The economy of Bihar is largely service oriented, but it also has a significant agricultural base. The state has a small industrial sector. As of 2008, agriculture sector accounts for 35%, industry sector 9% and service sector 55% of the state’s economy. Manufacturing sector has performed very poorly in the state between 2002 and 2007, with an average growth rate of 0.38% compared to India's 7.8%. Between 1999 and 2008, GDP of Bihar grew by 5.1% a year, which was below the India’s average of 7.3%. More recently, Bihar's nominal GDP recorded a growth of 18% between 2006 and 2007, and stood at $21 billion.
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This fertile land where the Buddha found enlightenment under the Bodhi tree was latterly overgrown by a “Jungle Raj” of corruption, crime and caste vengeance. With over 90 million people, the state held a morbid fascination for the rest of India, which lapped up blood-curdling tales of violence and larceny. Furthermore, politics has also downed the economy of the Bihar. In each five year plan, the per capita allocation was kept at the lowest. Simple demands of the state, like a bridge over Ganga at Patna, were rejected. Bihar has large population and to win the election politicians make simple dreams to the people, which have become a tradition. But as soon as they win the election, rather carrying developments, the politicians seems to be busy in misusing the power for corruption.
Bihar’s economy has tremendous growth potential. For that increasing the productivity of the available land and creating non-agricultural sources of employment through the development of industries are needed. In recent years the economy is getting much and much better. Agriculture is making progress in every direction. Farming has been more scientific, the use
of chemical manure is popular, and the rotation of crops is better understood. Once a place the rest of the country avoided visiting, now it is a place they are celebrating. Nitish Kumar, who became chief minister in 2005, has uprooted the “Jungle Raj”, and restored law and order: there were only 66 kidnappings in 2008. Over the four fiscal years ending on March 31st 2009, the state’s output grew at an annualized pace of 10.5%, faster than the national average. Small and agricultural, Bihar’s economy is notoriously fickle. It grew spectacularly for a few years in the mid-1990s too but this spurt looks more sustainable and it has to be. Even at this rate of expansion, Bihar would need 18 years to match the income per person enjoyed by Maharashtra today. The economic pickup is visible in the state capital, Patna, where people no longer fear to drive nice cars on the new flyover, or further afield.
New government and the increase in the new budget was the main reason behind this tremendous growth. The annual plan of the state has climbed five folds since 2005. When investment flowed, the place has shown results. Because of which the Biharis are busy in building infrastructure for their own state than get insulted by ingrates who left no stone unturned to humiliate them. Today the government of Bihar has an official policy that it does not want any Bihari to leave the state merely to earn two square meals. The roads in Bihar are much better, the primary health centers have seen exponential growth in patients visiting them, and every girl gets a cycle as soon as she reaches high school. Para teachers have been appointed in hundreds of thousands to teach at the primary schools.
Here are some of the policies of the Government of Bihar that the Bihar leaders have been enunciating over the last four years: