Reflecting its buoyancy, the Bihar economy has registered an average annual growth rate of 10.5 per cent in the last ten years, according to the latest Economic Survey released today.
The growth performance of the Bihar economy has been steady over the past one decade registering an annual growth rate at 10.5 per cent between FY 2005-6 and 2014-15, the survey noted.
The Economic Survey was tabled in the legislative assembly by Bihar Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui.
Among other salient features of Bihar's growth story, the per capita income has gone up by 40.6 per cent in the last fiscal 2014-15 as against 37 per cent in 2012-13; while the agriculture and animal husbandry, the bedrock of the state economy, has seen an increase of 6.02 per cent during 2005-06 to 2014-15.
The growth rate of agriculture and animal husbandry sector at 6.02 per cent is of special significance given that Bihar's 90 per cent population lives in rural areas and rely on this sector for their livelihood, the economic survey said.
As many as five sectors - communications (25.38%); registered manufacturing (19.31%); construction (16.58%); banking and insurance (17.70 %); and transport, storage and communication (15.08%) - have registered an average annual growth rate of more than 15 per cent.
On the state's financial health, the survey says that the state stands to lose out Rs 50,000 crore from the Centre due to reduction of its share in the divisible pool of the taxes from 10.917 to 9.665 in percentage terms as per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations.
The state's Gross Fiscal Deficit too has moved northward at Rs 11,178 core in 2014-15 from Rs 3,970 crore in 2010-11 due to substantial increase of Rs 8,954 crore in capital investments, but despite increase over the years the GFD was in a comfortable position under the limit of three per cent under the FRBM Act, 2003.
The revenue receipts of the state government too has increased substantially by Rs 9,499 crore during 2014-15 to reach Rs 78,418 crore, while the revenue expenditure has gone up by Rs 10,093 crore at Rs 72,570 crore last fiscal.
The revenue comprising the tax and non-tax sources stood
at Rs 22,309 crore in FY 2014-15.
The economic survey also heaped praise on the state government on debt management, saying that the debt limit has declined to 18.5 per cent by 2014-15 much below the prescribed limit of 28 per cent of the GSDP, though in actual figure the debt has increased to Rs 74,570 crore in 2014-15.
In terms of sector-wise analysis, the agriculture and allied sectors have grown significantly with a total cereal production rising to 143.21 lakh tonnes in 2014-15.
The animal husbandry, a key sector contributing about one-fifth of the total rural income, has maintained sizeable growth with production of milk, egg and fish growing substantially over the past five years.
On the flip side, the enterprises sector has shown a lower growth at 9.10 per cent in 2014-15 against the annual GSDP growth at 9.45 per cent, apparently due to slower growth of manufacturing sector at a little over five per cent in line with the slower growth of this sector nationally, the survey noted.
The infrastructure sector has seen a rapid growth with the total length of the National Highways increasing to 4,595 kms last year against 3,410 kms in 2001, while the length of the State Highways has increased to 4,253 kms last year from 2,383 kms in 2001.
The number of registered motor vehicles in Bihar has increased at an annual rate of 12.2 per cent over the past years to be ranked among the second fastest growing state in the country in terms of registration of vehicles, it added.
The rail route density per 1,000 sq km stood at 38 km
in Bihar compared to 20 km pan-India, but the state has marginally less rail route per thousand population at 0.04 km against the national figure at 0.05.
The energy sector has been identified as among the most well performing sector, registering per capita power consumption at 203 KWH in 2014-15.
The peak hour power deficit too has declined from around 30 per cent for several years till 2012-13 to around 20 per cent in 2014-15 due to increased availability from an average 6-8 hours to 14-16 hours in rural areas and from 10-12 hours to 20-22 hours in urban areas.
The installed power capacity in Bihar stood at 3,704 MW in March 2015, out of this 83.5 per cent came from coal based thermal power plant, 14.12 per cent from hydro power and the rest from renewable energy sources.
Among other indices, the poverty ratio in Bihar has declined by 20.7 percentage points between 2004-05 and 2011-12, but it was still higher than the national figure at 15.3 percentage points, even as the pace of reduction of rural poverty has been faster than that of the urban poverty.
MNREGA emerged as a powerful instrument for inclusive growth by positively impacting livelihood security and social protection.
The Bihar government has distributed 131.22 lakh job cards to the rural people under the employee guarantee scheme of the Centre.
The urban development growth proved to be a matter of concern with the level of urbanisation standing at merely 11.3 per cent in Bihar against the national figure at 31.2 per cent to get it marked as the least urbanised state in the country, the survey noted.
To address the issue, the state government has made steady increase in expenditure for urban development over the years and spent Rs 1,391 crore last fiscal and the utilisation of disbursed funds has been very high at more than 90 per cent in recent years, the economic survey said.