PATNA: Bihar’s medium-term gross state domestic product (GSDP) growth rate over the last five financial years since 2011-12 has been 7.6%, calculated on 2011-12 constant prices, according to the state’s Economic Survey Report for 2015-16.
However, the average growth rate of Bihar’s GSDP over the ten years since 2004-05 remained 10.1% on 2004-05 constant prices. Poverty level in the state has fallen drastically even though the sub-regional disparity among districts persists.
Patna, Munger and Begusarai are the most prosperous districts while Sheohar, Supaul and Madhepura are at the bottom in terms of consumption of petrol, diesel, LPG and small savings apart from respective gross district domestic product.
The report was tabled in the assembly by finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui after the governor’s address to the joint session of the state legislature on Thursday.
Accompanied by principal secretary (finance) Ravi Mitttal and ADRI functionaries Shaibal Gupta and P P Ghosh, Siddiqui later told newsmen the low GSDP growth rate for 2015-16 was due to the change in the formula, national economic slowdown and incorporation of fresh data from 2011-12 made by the Central Statistical Organisation to measure the national and state GDPs.
“Yet Bihar’s GSDP growth rate is more than the national average of 6.8% and it continues to be among the fastest growing states in the country,” Siddiqui said.
The study also report a relative shift of people from the primary (agriculture) sector with major contributions to the GSDP during 2015-16 coming from primary (agriculture) 19%, secondary (manufacturing) 18.8% and tertiary (service sector) 62.2%. The share of the primary sector during the period fell by 7 percentage points while the tertiary sector jumped by 6 percentage points.
“This shift from agriculture to tertiary or other sectors is good for the state’s economy,” said Mittal.
The state’s per capita income was computed to be 35% of the national average in 2015-16 while it was 33% of the national average a decade ago.
“(The) high growth obviously impacted the poverty scenario and the poverty ratio fell from 54.4% in 2004-05 to 33.7% in 2011-12… When the next round of poverty estimates are made available, it is almost certain to record even lower evidence of absolute poverty in Bihar,” the survey report says.
The optimism is largely based on the prospects of public investments being made by the state government to execute its ‘Saat Nishchay’, or seven resolves, initiative over the next four years.
“The state government’s development focus now revolves around the seven resolves, which include youth welfare, women employment, supply of electricity to all households, clean drinking water, road connectivity, toilet facility and higher technical education,” the report says, adding the annual growth rate of 10.1% during 2004-05 to 2014-15 was due to massive public investments made by the government.