Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday said providing 10 lakh jobs, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s main poll promise, would cost the Rs 1.44 lakh crore annually, and wondered if his rival would shelve other developments works or delay salaries to implement his pledge.
Addressing constituents in five assembly segments through a virtual rally called ”Nishchay Samwad”, Mr Kumar also said his government has changed the state’s industrial policy and that “we will be able to invite several industries”.
Mr Yadav has promised he would sanction 10 lakh government jobs in his very first cabinet meeting if the ”Mahagathbandhan” is voted to power.
“That is impossible, they won’t get the chance to govern,” Mr Kumar said. “But for what he (Tejashwi) has said, it will cost the state exchequer Rs 1.44 lakh crore annually…Should they shelve all other development work?”
He said earlier nobody used to get salaries in time and recalled that several teachers and university professors had told the Chief Minister during his in 2005 that they did not get salaries in time.
“We fixed that. Now what do they want to do? Again not paying salaries? Will there be no other (development) work?” Mr Kumar said.
“Where will they give the jobs from? Where will they create the posts from? And where is the money?” he added. The chief minister said the promise has been made just to “create confusion” in society.
Responding to the NDA’s persistent question about how will he manage the funds for his promised 10 lakh jobs, Mr Tejashwi had earlier said in a rally that Bihar has a budget of “Rs 2.13 lakh crore and the Nitish Kumar government manages to spend just 60 per cent of it. There still is Rs 80,000 crore left.”
Attacking the previous RJD governments, led by party’s supremo Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi, Mr Kumar said, “What was the budget when his (Tejashwi’s) parents were ruling the state? Their maximum budget was less than Rs 24,000 crore and today we have raised it to Rs 2.11 lakh crore.”
Mr Kumar, who has been persistently targeted by Mr Yadav for stating that Bihar lacked industrialisation because it is a “landlocked” state, said his government has changed the industrial policy considerably.
“We will be able to attract several industries. We are working to ensure no industry goes out of the state because of compulsion,” he said.
The Bihar Chief Minister also said the state government has worked for just and inclusive development. “We have not ignored anybody ever. Some vote for us, some dont. But we serve everybody.”
He praised his government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying the state’s testing rate is 85,587 per million, which is 6,845 more than the national average, and that Bihar has an impressive recovery rate of 96 per cent.
Mr Kumar said the new generation should be made aware that “earlier there was ”jungle raj” in Bihar (during the RJD rule), and we have been able to establish the rule of law”.
He said that under his government, the state achieved a growth rate of over 12 per cent and the per capita income has increased by 10 per cent.