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Nitish govt report card hails liquor ban, promises education push

india Updated: Nov 22, 2016 09:44 IST
Arun Kumar
Nitish Kumar government

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar receiving letters from JD(U) workers during Nischay Yatra in Muzaffarpur on November 11.(PTI)

The Nitish Kumar government has hailed Bihar’s liquor ban as a success, promised more medical colleges and pledged infrastructure expansion in its report card marking a year in office.

The report reiterates the government’s resolve for “inclusive, sustainable and fair” development with empowerment of common man, good governance, rule of law and focus on agriculture.

An annual feature of the Kumar administration since 2006, the report was to be released on Sunday at a public function which was called off following the Indore-Patna Express train derailment that left 146 people dead.

Kumar leads a coalition, or the Grand Alliance, of his party Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress in the eastern state.

This government, says the report put on the information and public relations department website, had put in place allocation and monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the targets set for its five-year term were met.

Bihar’s gross state domestic product grew at 10.59 % in 2015-16 against the national growth of 8.71% for the corresponding year.

The reports claims rule of law prevails in the state. The state has often battled charges of lawlessness, especially when the RJD was in power.

“We have zero tolerance to corruption and a legal and institutional mechanism has been put in place to crackdown on the corrupt,” the report quotes the CM as saying.

The government plans to launch a ‘Lok Samvad’ programme to seek suggestions from citizens on its policies and schemes. The programme takes off in December.

The report describes prohibition as a “unique success” due to effective enforcement and people turning it into a social movement. “The positive impact of prohibition is evident in the rural areas in the form of greater social cohesion and family joy,” it says.

As many as 1.4 million applications were disposed of under the right to public service act, which ensures time-bound services to citizens. Bihar is the first state to come out with such a law, which is a “great success”, it says.

The report says rapid strides in infrastructure development in the last 10 years led to double digit growth. The size of the annual budget shot up from Rs 22,500 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 1,44,000-crore.

“The government’s priority is not restricted to provision of basic amenities, viz, tap water, toilets, electricity to all to bridge the rural-urban divide, but it also includes infrastructural expansion and boost to higher, technical and professional learning,” the report says.

The government plans to set up five medical colleges, three state universities and an animal science university in the state.

For Bihar’s youth, the government was offering loans through student credit card and had launched skill development programme to equip them for the job market.