Bihar’s Growth Performance Better Than National Average: State Economic Survey Report

The 16th Bihar Economic Survey Report (ESR)- 2021-22 has termed the growth performance of the state as better” than the national average. It mentioned the agriculture and allied sectors grew at a pace of 2.1 per cent during the last five years (2016-17 to 2020-21) in the state. Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad, who also holds the Finance portfolio, tabled the 16th state ESR on the floor of the Legislative Assembly on Friday, ahead of the Budget.

The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Bihar grew by 2.5 per cent in 2020-21, because of the impact of lockdown caused by COVID-19. But this performance is better than the national average, as Indian economy indeed shrank by 7.2 per cent in 2020-21. If one compares Bihar and Indian economy in the medium term (2011-12 to 2020-21), it is observed that they have grown at nearly the same rate, said the report. At current prices, the per capita income in Bihar was Rs 50,555 in 2020-21, compared to Rs 86,659 for India, said the ESR. During the last five years (2016-17 to 2020-21), the primary sector in Bihar had grown at 2.3 per cent, the secondary sector at 4.8 per cent and the tertiary sector had grown at the highest rate of 8.5 per cent, it said. The primary sector involves all economic activities that directly use natural resources โ€“ mining, forestry, fishing, etc. The secondary sector involves manufacturing and processing to add value to natural resources, viz. cotton converted into cloth. The tertiary sector helps in developing the primary and secondary sectors, viz transportation or other services. Regarding state finances, the ESR says the year 2020-21, was a difficult year, because of COVID-19 pandemic.

The state government responded to the challenges with the best possible utilization of its fiscal resources. The total expenditure of the state government in 2020-21 increased by 13.4 per cent over the previous year to reach Rs 1,65,696 crore, out of which Rs 26,203 crore was the capital expenditure and Rs 1,39,493 crore was revenue expenditure, said the report. The report says agriculture occupies a very crucial space in Bihar economy. The growth in agriculture and allied sectors has been steady in Bihar. The Gross Cropped Area was 79.97 lakh hectares in 2019-20, with a cropping intensity of 144 per cent. During the last five years, agriculture and allied sectors grew at a pace of 2.1 per cent. Among the sub-sectors, livestock and fisheries have grown at a pace of 10 per cent and 7 per cent respectively, the report said, adding the industrial development in Bihar has been promising in the recent years.

In the 2011 census, the level of urbanization in Bihar was very low-only 11.3 per cent. But, after the state government decided to redefine an urban centre, the present level of urbanization in Bihar is 15.3 per cent, which indicates an appreciable expansion. The per capita consumption of energy in the state has also increased from 203 kwh in 2014-15 to 350 kwh in 2020-21, implying a growth of 72.4 per cent in six years, it said.

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