Bihar focusses on education, heath, rural infra in budget

Published on Feb 25, 2020 11:52 PM IST
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Patna: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Bihar, where elections are due later this year, on Tuesday presented a Rs 2.11 lakh crore budget with a special emphasis on education, health and rural infrastructure.

Presenting a revenue surplus budget of Rs 19,172.80 crore, finance minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushil Kumar Modi said the proposed allocations made for 2020-21 were Rs 11,260.48 crore more than the last year.

Bihar’s budget has increased eight times and touched Rs 2,11,761.49 crore in 2020-21 from Rs 23,885 crore in 2004- 05, Modi said in his 11th Budget speech. The size of the budget was Rs 2,00,501 crore last year.

The government has made the highest allocation of Rs 35,191.05 crore for education. Rs 17,345 crore has been allocated for road building and Rs 10,937.68 crore for health care.

Except for 2012-13, the state has been presenting a revenue surplus budget since 2008-09, said Modi, who is also the deputy chief minister.

“Bihar has become the first state in the country to present a green budget,” said Modi. He added Bihar’s success is an example for other states.

Modi said 11.3 million farmers have been registered so far under an online system introduced to bring transparency in the process of agriculture development schemes. Also, money under various schemes has been disbursed to their bank accounts, he added.

“Special attention has been paid to provide tap water to every household, build concrete drains and streets. Piped water will reach all the houses in the state. The government will spend the maximum amount on education,” said Modi.

Modi said despite being a backward state, Bihar continues to be revenue surplus state. He added it showed how the NDA government led by Nitish Kumar has improved the state’s finances.

The revenue surplus of Rs 19,172 crore is 2.80% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), said Modi.

The fiscal deficit estimated for the next financial year--Rs 20,374 crore--is 2.97% of GSDP estimate at Rs 6,85,797 crore for 2020-21. “The fiscal deficit target is below the 3% target prescribed as per the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act,” Modi said.

For 2019-20, the fiscal deficit projected was 2.81% of the GSDP while in 2018-19 the actual fiscal deficit was 2.68% of the GSDP. However, the final fiscal deficit figures for 2019-20 will come in April, after the end of the current financial year.

Modi said that despite global slowdown, which has also impacted the national economic growth, Bihar had managed to grow at 10.53% in 2018-19. The budget projected the total liability on the government including outstanding public debt at 30.14% of the GSDP.

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