Once considered a land of the lawless, Bihar has today become a model for progress and development. This has been possible due to good governance and a visionary leader in the state’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister, Bihar.
Modi was speaking at Real India Conclave – an attempt by Jagran and exchange4media to bring to the forefront the huge opportunities that are waiting to be tapped in the emerging states of India. The first edition focused on the state of Bihar.
Given the improved atmosphere in the state, today there is a huge hunger amongst the people to achieve something in life. Growing aspirations and purchasing power of the people presents a good market for companies to invest in Bihar, Modi said.
He further stated that this transformation of Bihar is the result if interventions at different levels. The first is Janta Darbar, wherein the state government is more accessible to the people and diligently follows up on their complaints.
The Chief Minister visits different districts of the state as part of his Seva Yatra and stays there for three to four days to gauge the situation there and understand the problems of the people. This keeps the administration in all districts alert and work to their full capacity.
Besides macro management of resources, the state also does micro management, which has increased efficiency. Moreover, under the Right to Service Act, the state government has made compulsory the availability of services to the people in a time bound manner. People can track the status of the services that they have asked for and have them realised.
To counter cases of corruption, once rampant in the state, the Bihar government has introduced the Special Court Act under which the property of people against whom charge sheet has been filed in disproportionate income case can be confiscated.
All these have led to tremendous progress in the state and an increased level of confidence amongst the people, Modi noted. The state government has aimed for a 13 per cent growth under the 12th Plan. At the same time, Modi also said that sustaining this growth is a challenge. He admits that while today roads are no longer an issue in Bihar, electricity is still a challenge. According to him, if the state is given coal linkage, a solution to the power problem can be found.
Another challenge is lack of availability of land for various industry projects, given that a large part of the state is fertile land and under cultivation. Moreover, Bihar has one of the highest density of population.
After the state was split into Bihar and Jharkhand, the latter walked away with most of the mineral resources; hence, Bihar has had to create its industrial base all over again. Growth in industries has been the result of investment in public-private partnership, pointed out Modi and added that the state is growing in every sector.
Sushil Kumar Modi was speaking at the Real India Conclave – Special Focus on Emerging Markets, organised by Dainik Jagran and exchange4media. The Conclave was held in the Capital on June 29, 2012.