A.K. Malik akmalik45 at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 21 00:13:32 IST 2010

Dear Rakesh,
                        I think and consider the betterment of the Law and Order situation in Bihar without going into the nitty-gritty of the statistics to be good enough to commend the CM. I don't go by the stats but what is the feeling of a common man about the general administration system and well being. You can come out with similar data even for UP and say Mayawati has done well where today I read the news of 100 Brahmin advocates being sacked from Govt responsibilty ( will try to find out the news item), sacking of the Addl Cabinet Secretary for not handing media for BSP celebrations properly.(Also see today's NDTV Big Fight discussion). It is general governance which makes a CM good, bad ,better ,commendable and as also the perceptions whether right or wrong by the common man.
By the way Nitish Kumar got some NDTV award as well for good governance.
You may justify Mr Lalu Prasad/Rabri Devi to be good CMs but I consider the current CM to be better and that is all.It is more of attitudnal than of statistical things I meant.
If you feel differently you are definitely entitled to keep your views, the question of discussion was only Gujarat.Good deeds need to be commended and bad ones condemned be it Gujarat or any other state or even a person.That was what was my intention.


--- On Sat, 3/20/10, Rakesh Iyer <rakesh.rnbdj at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Rakesh Iyer <rakesh.rnbdj at gmail.com>
To: "Bipin Trivedi" <aliens at dataone.in>
Cc: "A.K. Malik" <akmalik45 at yahoo.com>, "sarai-list" <reader-list at sarai.net>
Date: Saturday, March 20, 2010, 9:50 PM

Dear Malik

Since you mentioned Bihar, I was devoting my time for the past one hour to find about Bihar, and so here is Bihar's story. My views are also mentioned with it. The references mentioned can be seen, and they are the work of those who study the budgets properly. 

The story of Bihar’s growth:


According to the figures released by the CSO (Central
Statistical Organization), the average growth rate for Bihar was 11.03% for the
period 2004-05 to 2008-09. This includes one year of Lalu-Rabri rule and 3 ½ years
of Nitish Kumar rule. 


However, if we were to go by the Economic
Survey report tabled in the Bihar Assembly by Sushil Kumar Modi, the average
growth rate of Bihar for the same period as mentioned above was 7.34%. 


This is astonishing considering that both
figures have the same source. Obviously, either there is miscommunication or
fudging of figures, and since the Bihar govt. has not said anything on this
difference in the figures, I would assume the latter to be the case. 


By the way, India’s average growth rate was
7.9% for the period 2004-05 to 2008-09. Hope that can give an idea as to how
Bihar is performing. 


The growth rate of Bihar was 5.87% for the last four
years (2001-02 to 2004-05) of RJD rule. For the period from 1992-93 to 2003-04,
it was 4.89%. Under Nitish Kumar rule, the figures are 6.35% (2006-09). Is this
enough to say that there is a turnaround in Bihar economy? (A difference of
about 0.5% in growth rates for four years of Lalu-Rabri and Nitish Kumar rule)


3)    The next question is about this: what constitutes this
growth which is talked about? 


The primary sector (mainly
agriculture and related activities) have grown at less than 1% for the entire
period. This is a shame considering that a large proportion of Bihar’s
population is dependent on agriculture (81% of the entire workforce) and it
contributes to about 42% of the state GDP, as compared to say India (where the corresponding
figures are 60% of the entire workforce and 18% of India’s GDP). 


The growth in the tertiary sector
(services sector) is less (at 6.9%)  than
the national average as stated in one of the references. While I don’t have
data for the entire period, it was 9.2% in 2007-08 and 9.6% for 2006-07 for
India. And I don’t think the services sector would have got a huge shock which
changed that trend, as they don’t also depend on rain or other factors unlike
say the primary sector. 


Then certainly the growth must come
from the secondary sector, and yes, it does. The question then comes: where
from? Construction. The growth rate for the secondary sector was 12.9%. And on
further disaggregation, most of this growth rate is found in construction. Construction
sector has grown by 41% for the stated period under Nitish rule only (exclude
2004-05 from the stated period)


Let’s now discuss the relative importance of the sectors
first. The agrarian sector has actually grown by – 0.77% (minus 0.77% or
negative growth rate) under Nitish Kumar rule. And agriculture has grown by
-0.87% (or minus 0.87%) under his rule. And this agriculture along with allied
activities is supposed to support 80% of the workforce. When agriculture is on
a decline, it’s obvious that the incomes due to agriculture would also be on a


Is this a success or a failure? You


On the other hand, the construction
sector  has grown by huge value primarily
due to investments made in public infrastructure as well as booming
construction drive going on in the cities of Bihar. The first is primarily due
to the financial assistance given by the ADB (Asian Development Bank for state
road programs) and the programmes run by the Central Govt (like NHDP, National
Highway Development Programme). The second is being seen across all Tier-I(major)
and Tier-II cities (mostly state capitals and emerging important cities), and
in that sense, the Bihar govt. can’t take credit for it. 


What is a major shame though is
that the allocations for constructing national highways was four times that
being spent for making rural roads, even though rural connectivity in Bihar is
one of the worst across the entire country. And even on this money, about 62%
came from the PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, a central-govt
assistance) while the rest came from funds of the state govt. 


How can the state govt. claim the
achievements to be its’ own then?


The only change here is that since
the law and order situation has improved to the extent that extortions are not
the norm but the exception, this boom of construction is taking place. 


5)   The next achievement which Nitish Kumar may want to
talk about is the idea about education and health. On this front, the govt. can
be easily checkmated. 


The claim that under his rule, SC
and ST students’ enrolment in schools has increased has already been alleged by
the local media to be a farce as the figures are being claimed to having been
fudged to lift more food under the mid-day meal programme. The only ‘real’
activity going on is said to be construction of schools, another offshoot of
the construction sector. 


Leaving the above allegation aside
for a moment, (as it may or may not be true), since the health programme is run
on Central money and medicines, the Bihar govt. can’t claim the achievement as
only its’ own, but a joint one. 


6)    The Bihar govt. then makes a claim which can be only
termed as ‘dubious’. On one hand, it claims that the income in agricultural
sector has fallen by about 4,000 crores and on the other hand, another document
termed ‘Road Map for Agriculture’ released by the same govt. claims that there
is no data on income which farmers receive for their produce in the state. Then
how was this assessment made, is anybody’s guess. 


7)   The Bihar govt., had in one of its first acts, repealed
the APMC Act (Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act), in the name of
protecting the farmers from scrupulous traders who manipulate prices thereby
affecting farmers and consumers both. The result was disastrous. Under this
act, prices were decided for commodities and the intention was to ensure better
and timely payment of farm produce. Now thanks to dismantling of these
committees which were supposed to fix prices, Bihar is enjoying a high rate of
inflation, and with the policies at the Centre also contributing to the same,
Bihar people can turn to religion and God to salvage their hopes. 













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