Appreciating the 10.5 per cent economic growth registered by Bihar in the last decade, Vice President Hamid Ansari today underlined rule of law as an essential prerequisite for creating an environment that supports economic growth and draws foreign investments.
“The state needs to expand economic growth and maintain its rapid tempo for at least two decades if it aspires to join the league of developed states,” he said addressing a function to mark the 90th anniversary of Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
Quoting from 10th Bihar Economic survey report 2015-16, Ansari said the last decade has seen remarkable growth in the state and some sectors like manufacturing, construction, insurance and banking grew at over 15 per cent during the period.
The per capita income in Bihar has also increased from Rs 7,914 to Rs 15,640, he said, adding that its contribution to the country’s economy has increased from 2.6 per cent to 3.3 per cent during the period.
Impressive as these gains are, these have to be seen in the context of small economic base to begin with, he said.
“States like Haryana and Goa have outperformed Bihar. Bihar still has one of the lowest per capita income levels in the country and lags behind Madhya Pradesh by 10 years and India by 15 years.
“The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation data shows the state’s economy was the 14th largest in the country in 2014-15, having moved one spot from 15th position it occupied in 2004-5,” he said.
The Vice President underlined existence of rule of law as an essential prerequisite for creating an environment that supports economic growth and draws foreign investments. It was also an essential ingredient of proper governance and therefore of economic prosperity, he said.
The rule of law, he said, has three ingredients — the absolute supremacy of regular law, equality before law and access to justice and development of law by judges on a case by case basis, he said.
“Its purpose is avoidance of tyranical laws or their execution in a tyranical manner. This approach has been upheld in judicial pronouncements with the Supreme Court describing the rule of law as a potent instrument of social justice to bring about equality in results.
“Maintaining law and order will thus be essential to attracting investment for rapid growth. Bihar has to create an environment where more businesses see Bihar as a gateway to consumers in the eastern part of the country and as a place where cost of setting up a plant will be competitive with an abundant supply of workers,” Ansari said.