Lauding Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for changing perception about Bihar, industry body Assocham today backed the demand for grant of special status for industrial development of the state.
The Nitish Kumar government has worked hard to help change the perception about Bihar by improving law and order situation and usher in development on several fronts, Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat told reporters.
Bihar has hit the road on way to economic recovery and among the BIMARU states comprising Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh it has attained top position in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth at 9.3 per cent in terms of GSDP on the Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) between 2004-05 to 2012-13, he said.
Bihar's growth rate in the industrial sector (14 per cent), services sector (10 per cent), agriculture and allied sector (4.7 per cent) and per capita income (7.6 per cent) has been better than other states with BIMARU tag, Rawat said.
There has been an impressive decline in poverty ratio from 54 per cent in 2004-05 to 33 per cent in 2011-12, while rural road infrastructure has grown by 41 per cent and rural road density 37 per cent, he said.
Rawat said that the grant of special status to Bihar, recently recognised by the Raghuram Rajan panel as among 10 least developed states, would fast track economic development in Bihar and bring in private investment.
The special status grant to Bihar would be in the interest of not only the state, but in the national interest as no country could sustain development without pushing growth in poor and backward states through incentives and financial devolution, he said.
The backwardness of Bihar and other least developed states was bound to adversely affect the growth story of India, Rawat said, adding that the special status grant could be one of the measures to push development activities in the state.
The Assocham official lauded the Raghuram Rajan panel report saying that it would bring about an inclusive growth in the country by providing additional financial devolution to backward states. Its recommendations would bridge the gap between rich and poor states on long-term basis.
Underlining that the Nitish Kumar government deserves kudos for recording impressive development on several key indices, Rawat said that Bihar continued to grapple with many challenges with the state having more of poor population at 33 per cent as compared to the national average of 21.9 per cent.
Bihar had registered