Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta welcomes governor Syed Ahmed before start of the budget session in Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, Feb. 19: Jharkhand’s per capita income has risen by 13.4 per cent per annum in 2012-13 compared to the year before, said governor Syed Ahmed today, a hard-to-spot silver lining in a climate of inflation and economic slowdown.
Ahmed, who announced the percentage while addressing the budget session of the House today, added it was a matter of “pride for the state” and an “outcome of various steps initiated for Jharkhand’s overall growth”.
He said per capita income was Rs 43,384 in 2012-13 and Rs 38,258 in 2011-12, which meant a 13.4 per cent rise. He added the state’s annual gross domestic income per person for 2012-13 was tabulated in advance this year. Usually, this happens in May.
The period stated was under the rule of the BJP-led Arjun Munda government. Munda, who was absent during the proceedings, claimed credit for the per capita hike later.
Talking to The Telegraph over phone, he said: “An increase in per capita income was the outcome of efficient fiscal management done by my government in the past.”
Pulling down the present government led by present chief minister Hemant Soren, his once-deputy, Munda said: “This government has nothing new to claim. It is only grabbing the credit for good work of its predecessors. In the current fiscal, the government has barely been able to spend 36 per cent of the total budgetary allocation. The plan size for the next fiscal too is set to go down by Rs 5,000 crore or so.”
Munda added the Hemant government was “trying to mislead the masses” by saying various departments should surrender surplus amounts for use elsewhere. “The fact is, the sums are bound to lapse because by the time they get the Centre’s green light, the current fiscal year would end.”
At the floor of the Assembly too, the Opposition in the sparsely populated Assembly greeted the governor’s long and glowing speech with disbelief bordering on derision.
Opposition members raised a chant of a “bundle of lies” and decried the Hemant Soren government had “failed on every front.
JVM MLA Pradip Yadav raised his voice over the din and advised the governor to speak out his own views instead of reading aloud “what the government wanted him to say”.
The House, however, displayed sobriety while condoling the recent deaths of eminent personalities, including former deputy chief minister and JMM stalwart Sudhir Mahto, former Union minister Sheshram Ola, former Ranchi MP Prashant Kumar Ghosh, actors Suchitra Sen and Farookh Sheikh, among others.