PATNA: Bihar deputy chief minister and finance minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday presented a revenue-surplus budget of Rs 1,76,990 crore for the state for 2018-19 amid constant chanting of anti-government slogans by the Opposition RJD legislators.
The education sector was allocated the largest amount of funds – Rs 32,125 crore – followed by Rs 15,471 crore for rural development, Rs 10,508 crore for rural works and Rs 10,257 crore for the energy sector. The Nitish Kumar-led NDA government plans to set up three new universities and 16 institutes of industrial training (ITI) in the state, apart from revamping the primary and secondary schools.
The total estimated budget expenditure of Rs 1,76,990 is Rs 16,904 crore more than the Rs 1,60,085 croe for 2017-18 budget estimate. Revenue surplus was estimated at Rs 21,311 crore, which is 4.13 per cent of the GSDP, while fiscal deficit was at Rs 11,203 crore, which is 2.17 per cent of the GSDP, said Modi.
The government plans to construct 1,500 km roads in the state in the 2018-19 fiscal and build a number of bridges across the Gandak, Ganga, Son and Kosi rivers to ensure greater connectivity between regions. By December 2018, all villages in the state would be electrified, said Modi.
“Bihar’s GDP is registering a heartening double-digit growth due to good governance by NDA in the past several years. We are committed to ensure rapid development of the state so that people have improved living standards,” said Modi after presenting the budget.
With the Opposition RJD legislators continuing to chant slogans against the government, Modi’s budget speech was barely audible in the Assembly. The RJD legislators were demanding immediate arrest of a BJP leader from Sitamarhi district whose SUV had mowed down schoolchildren in Muzaffarpur district, killing nine and injuring ten others.
The ruling JD(U), BJP, RLSP, LJP and HAM hailed the budget, but RJD and Congress leaders said it lacked vision. “This budget has a clear push towards socioeconomic growth of Bihar with an aggressive focus on education, agriculture, rural economy and healthcare,” said RLSP national general secretary and economist Madhaw Anand.