Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar defends fiscal management policies

Nitish Kumar

The Bihar government has said the state has been revenue surplus for the past seven years, even as the Opposition termed the 2013-14 budget as 'anti-people' and 'anti-poor'.

Bihar has kept its finances within the Finance Commission guidelines and the fiscal deficit remained under three per cent of GSDP as mandated by Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM), Finance Minister S K Modi said while replying to a debate in the Assembly on the budget.

It has been a revenue surplus state for the past seven years, Modi said.

Nitish Kumar is the chief minister of Bihar.

Outstanding loans and other liabilities have been pegged at only 24 per cent of the GSDP as against the stipulation of up to 43 per cent by the Finance Commission, while the burden on loan and interest repayment stood at eight per cent as against the requirement of 15 per cent.

The state government has worked hard to raise its own tax revenues and as a result, the collection has increased to about Rs 20,000 crore in 2012-13 as against Rs 4,000 crore in 2005-06, he said.

It does not have to seek overdraft from RBI or borrow money to pay salaries and other plan expenditure, which has risen to about Rs 38,000 crore at present, he said.

The government has created a fund with RBI three years ago and deposited up to Rs 1,000 crore and will continue to park small amounts in future, so that the money could be used in times of distress, Modi said.

Claiming there has been rapid development in Bihar since NDA came to power in 2005 and the growth rate had entered double-digit zone, he said the government would like to generate more resources through various means to maintain the growth and cater to the aspirations of the people.

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