National

Nitish may have just packed it better

Debabrata Das New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018

bl08_Nitish graphics

CM’s ₹2.7 lakh-cr package reaps poll dividends; trumps BJP-led Centre’s plan for ₹1 lakh-cr worth of mega projects

The BJP set its sights on Bihar much earlier than others. But despite the full might of the Centre spent in trying to woo the voters of the State, it has failed against Nitish Kumar’s popularity.

The announcement of sweeteners and projects for Bihar began in November last year, nearly six months before the ‘Grand Alliance’ even took shape. Even before campaigning officially began, the BJP-led Central Government had announced a blitz of infrastructure and other projects worth over ₹1 lakh-crore for the State.

₹20,000 crore UMPP

Among the very first sweeteners to be announced was a 4,000 MW ultra mega power project (UMPP) by Power Minister Piyush Goyal in November 2014. The project is worth almost ₹20,000 crore and work on the UMPP has started, with Power Finance Corporation creating a special purpose vehicle to enable the auctioning of the project.

₹50,000-cr road projects

Other key announcements included ₹50,000-crore road projects that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways intends to develop over the next few years.

The announcement was made by Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari in May.

₹25,000 cr in oil and gas

In January , Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan assured Bihar that ₹25,000 crore will be invested in the State’s oil and gas sector over five-six years. Part of that investment has already started to flow in through Indian Oil Corporation and GAIL (India) Ltd beginning the work on a ₹3,957-crore Jagdishpur-Haldia gas pipeline project.

Buttressing PM's plans

By the time Prime Minister Modi arrived in Bihar in August to announce the ‘Bihar Package’, the additions to the list were airport projects worth ₹2,700 crore, rural electrification and transmission projects worth around ₹13,000 crore, farmer’s welf-are projects of around ₹3,000 crore and other investments.

However, in the end Nitish Kumar’s ₹2.71-lakh crore package for the State seems to have been appreciated more by the voters of Bihar than the Prime Minister’s ₹1.25 lakh crore package.

Published on November 08, 2015

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