Bihar CM showcases Bihar at London School of Economics growth meet

Source: Times of India

PATNA: Chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Monday showcased Bihar at the International Growth Centre conference in London and said Bihar has seen a dramatic turnaround during the last seven to eight years. The state that had become a model for absence of governance is now being talked about for its progressive policies, spectacular growth rate and good governance, he said giving credit for this turnaround to his predecessor Nitish Kumar.

Speaking on ‘The Bihar Story: Resurrection of the State, Inclusion and Growth’ before an audience comprising economists and policymakers from different countries at the London School of Economics, Manjhi said his government has done remarkably well in overcoming the institutionalized barriers to make the state functional. “Bihar is one of the fastest growing states in India, the average growth rate being more than 10% over the last seven years,” the CM was quoted by a Bihar government press release as having said at the conference.

Manjhi lavishly praised the leadership of Nitish Kumar and said the turnaround in Bihar since 2005 was possible only due to the visionary leadership of Nitish. “I had the privilege of working with him as a cabinet minister and I have seen all the efforts that went into rebuilding Bihar. As a CM now, I’m trying my best to take forward his legacy of Bihar’s development to the next stage,” he said.

The CM said the first and foremost priority of the government since 2005 was to restore law and order and establish the rule of law. No communal riot or social discord has been witnessed in the last eight years, he added.

His speech was followed by comments by ADRI member-secretary Shaibal Gupta, LSE’s Ruth Kattamuri and IGC’s Prof Robin Burgess. Gupta re-emphasized the point that Bihar’s turnaround was primarily due to re-establishment of the authority of the state. He argued that government should seriously consider implementing land reforms which would not only lead to greater industrialization and growth but would also make the growth process more inclusive. Kattamuri said Bihar should find innovative solutions to the challenges in housing sector by allowing high-rise buildings to come up in cities.

Prof Burgess said Bihar should shift its focus towards improving its cities and work towards urbanization of the state. The session was chaired by Lord Karan Bilimoria, who made several insightful concluding remarks.

The CM later met British state minister for foreign and commonwealth office, Hugo Swire.

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