Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced a Rs1,25,000 crore development package for Bihar, raising the originally proposed Rs50,000 crore special package for the poll-bound state by an additional Rs75,000 crore.
Modi also made it clear that the Rs1,25,000-crore package will be in addition to the ongoing development projects worth Rs40,657 crore, announced earlier.
Speaking at the launch of several development projects at Ara in Bihar, the prime minister said when completed these projects will change the face of Bihar, making it the most developed state in the country.
Promising that the state will touch new heights of development if the BJP is voted to power, Modi hit out at chief minister Nitish Kumar for pleading with the previous UPA government for bigger packages and getting only Rs12,000 crore.
"Our chief minister turned very angry and said who is Modi to call Bihar a 'bimaru' state. But, I now feel Bihar is no longer a `bimaru' state. If it is true, then I will be the happiest person. I welcome this.
"Tell me, if somebody is healthy, will he go to a doctor. If somebody's stomach is full, will he go anywhere seeking food? I am surprised that on the one hand he says Bihar is not bimaru and on the other he keeps asking for something or the other. Let the people of Bihar decide," Modi said.
"I am here today to fulfill my promise to you. I am announcing a package of Rs1,25,000 crore for Bihar. Now you give me your blessings to change the fate of Bihar... Only development will benefit the state and eradicate its poverty. Bihar will touch new heights of development," he said at a government function where several projects were launched.
The prime minister unveiled plaques for the dedication to the nation and laid the foundation stones of 11 national highway projects. He also inaugurated 22 skill training centres, and unveiled the foundation stone for a Regional Vocational Training Institute for women in Patna.
The prime minister said the projects being launched today would transform the face of Bihar in the days to come. He said his Government does not think in compartments.
The prime minister mentioned the Make in India programme and the prospects of foreign investment flows, especially in the context of the commitment of the UAE government and its agencies.
He said skill development and assured power supply are essential for the success of Make in India and ensuring employment. He also mentioned his call for Start Up India, Stand Up India.
He wanted banks to take particular interest in promoting enterprises by dalits and adivasi investors.
The prime minister also talked of farmers' welfare which, he said, is essential for agriculture to develop. He said the agriculture ministry was now being renamed and reoriented as the ministry for agriculture and farmers' welfare.
He said for India to progress, the eastern part of the country has to move forward.
The projects proposed under the new Bihar package include:
- Twenty national highway projects under process for award/bidding stage, involving a total project cost of Rs9,991.24 crore;
- Twenty-one national highway projects involving a total project cost of Rs54,713.11 crore that are in the pipeline;
- Completion of about 22,500 km of rural roads under PMGSY involving an expenditure of Rs13,820 crore;
- Petroleum and natural gas projects involving investment of Rs21,476 crore;
- Civil aviation projects, including construction of airports and related infrastructure involving total expenditure of Rs21,476 crore;
- Building institutions of higher learning at an investment of Rs1,000 crore;
- Skill development involving expenditure of Rs1,550 crore;
- Creation of agricultural infrastructure at a cost of around Rs3,094 crore;
- Development of rail infrastructure involving total spending of Rs8,870 crore;
- Power project investments of about Rs16,130 crore;
- Telecommunication and Digital Bihar projects to get Rs449 crore;
- Tourism infrastructure development costing about Rs600 crore and upgradation of three medical colleges in Patna, Bhagalpur and Gaya at an expenditure of Rs600 core;
Together these projects involve total central commitment to Bihar of Rs1,25,003 crore. There is an unspent amount of Rs8,282 crore out of the 2013 Special Plan of Rs12,000 crore, while ongoing works of national highways add up to Rs12,375 crore and Rs20,000 crore worth of ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Banka under PPP is under implementation. These form part of other ongoing investments of Rs40,657 crore.
Besides, to facilitate investments in Bihar, the government will offer income tax relief on new capital investment in the form of additional investment allowance and higher additional depreciation for investment in backward areas of the state.