Bihar economy: Dragged by legacy issues, a slow, steady progress -Aashish Aryan
-The Indian Express
Nitish’s 15 years have seen high growth, especially in welfare indices, spending; industries slower to catch up.
New Delhi: As Bihar heads into an election that promises to be a battle of proxies fought between former and present allies, on the state’s economic conditions alone, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar seems to have a clear edge. The state has improved in the last five years in terms of growth of the gross state domestic product (GSDP), agriculture, expenditure on health and education, as well as infrastructure.
However, Bihar’s legacy problems such as minimal industrialisation, clean water, sanitation, open defecation, rural housing, and microfinance for small and marginal farmers continue.
In the first decade of Nitish as CM, between 2005-06 and 2014-15, the GSDP of Bihar at constant prices grew annually at 10.5%. While this spike was attributed to a low-base effect, the GSDP continued to grow at an average rate of 9.8%, higher than the national growth rate, even between 2010-11 and 2014-15.
Before the 2015 Assembly elections, Kumar called off his decade-old relationship with the BJP-led NDA and opted to go to polls with his long-time political foe Lalu Prasad’s Mahagathbandhan. The alliance got elected, but could not last the term. Two years later, in 2017, Kumar walked out of the Mahagathbandhan partnership to return to the NDA and continue as CM.
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The Indian Express, 13 October, 2020, https://indianexpress.com/elections/bihar-economy-dragged-by-legacy-issues-a-slow-steady-progress-nitish-kumar-6722508/