Political Crusade and Prospects for Development of Bihar

Ram Vilas Paswan, Lok Janshakti Party with senior journalist Aarifa Khanam in an Interview on Bihar Political battle
Ram Vilas Paswan, Lok Janshakti Party with senior journalist Aarifa Khanam in an Interview on Bihar Political battle

by Syed Zahid Ahmad for Maeeshat

At present state of Bihar has turned into a political crusade and political parties are considering this assembly election as prestige issue. People of Bihar may again ready to cast their votes on the name of religion and caste irrespective of candidates capable to develop their livelihood and state economy. In a state with lower per capita income, we are noticing as if political parties are offering bribes to voters by announcing to distribute laptops, TVs and two wheelers.

Political parties know that the people of Bihar are more curious about speeches on safeguarding their religion and caste values rather than development. The people of Bihar who are really interested in development have either left Bihar for search of better livelihood or have lost their voices in the state campaigns compared to people speaking about secularism or saving religious cultures or schemes for lower castes. So, the political leaders are either condemning opponents or speaking in tone soothing their voters.

Voters should realize that the political parties who promise to distribute materials after winning election are going to make them fool. They should understand that if any particular party wins election; will not pay from its party fund for fulfilling such promises. To fulfill such promise the state Government will obviously increase tax revenues to raise required fund for distribution of materials. Increasing tax revenues will ultimately add tax burden on public. The undesired tax structure would ultimately increase inflation and create adverse conditions for drawing fresh investors in the state. Such fiscal policy will push the state downward instead of increasing potential for state economic growth of Bihar.

In state like Bihar where agriculture often adversely affected by floods, it is required that political parties propose plan to increase income and employment opportunities in industries and services sectors. Micro Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) play crucial role to create more income and employment opportunities with lower investments. Access to affordable finance is core requirement to boots MSMEs. But Bihar is worst performing state in terms of credit disbursed by Banks. But so far no party proposes any sound plan in this regard.

It is unfortunate that Bihar despite having third largest population of the country draws lowest per capita credit disbursed by Indian banks. Considering state election, political parties should have raised issue of the lowest per capita credit availed by people of Bihar. Bihar state is getting merely Rs. 6,017 as per capita credit disbursed by Indian banks compared to Rs. 5,48,951 for people of Chandigarh and Rs. 5,04,031 for people living in Delhi.  People of Bihar have right to ask why Tamil Nadu is drawing 122% of their deposits as Credits when Bihar is getting merely 33% of their deposits as credits.

While in India overall the number of registered Entrepreneurs Memorandum (EM-II) by MSMEs at DICs has increased by 81% from 2,35,500 in 2010-11 to 4,25,358 by 2014-15; the condition of Bihar state has worsen. In Bihar the number of registered EM-II in 2010-11 were 4,302 which reduced 53% by 2014-15 and recorded as 2,009 only. The rate of decline was highest among micro level enterprises which constitute 81% of MSMEs at India level and 92% at Bihar level. By 2010-11 the Bihar registered 4,267 micro level EM-II MSMEs which reduced to 1,851 by 2014-15. Now how can any state like Bihar develop if 57% micro level MSMEs will be closed down in just four years time? Is any political party proposing any plan for their revivals with suitable financial, technological and market support?

If any party is really serious to help poor people of Bihar, they should propose promoting micro and smaller enterprises in Bihar. Political parties may announce launching of Micro Equity Fund for micro and smaller enterprises allowing them feel equality in financial terms compared to corporate who avail equity from stock markets. Such micro equity funds may allow micro and smaller enterprises boost their entrepreneurship; ultimately boosting manufacturing activities in the state. This may put Bihar in higher growth trajectory despite all poitics.

Now who will let the people of Bihar visualize a developed Bihar? Truly speaking it depends on people of Bihar who have to cast their votes for assuring development of Bihar and not for the sake of religion and caste. Useless to condemn political parties; people of Bihar should apply their minds while casting votes for Bihar election.

 

Mr. Zahid can be reached– economicinitiatives@gmail.com)


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