States Diary

Survey Finds Increase in Bihar Revenue Surplus

The revenue surplus of Bihar has increased from Rs 4,820 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 12,507 crore in 2015-16, the highest so far, according to a latest report of Economic Survey which was tabled in the state assembly on February 23rd. The month-long budget session of the Bihar Assembly began Thursday. As per the report, the revenue surplus has allowed the state government to increase its capital spending by more than Rs 5,800 crore during the year.

“This has also allowed the state government to limit its Gross Fiscal Deficit to only 2.9 percent of the new estimate of the GSDP well within FRBMA limits,” the report claimed. The reports also states that the revenue receipts of the state increased by Rs 17,706 crore. During the five year period from 2011-12 to 2015-16, the own tax revenue of the state government grew at an annual growth rate of 19 percent.

West Bengal To Get Three More Districts, Two Official Languages

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that three new districts would be created in the state — Kalimpong, Asansol and Jhargram. She also announced the state government has set up a committee, headed by Indologist Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, which would help create a written form for Rajbanshi-Kamtapuri.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on February 21st granted official status to the Kurukh language spoken by Oraon and Kisan tribes, and the Rajbanshi-Kamtapuri language spoken by the Koch Rajbanshi community, to mark International Mother Language Day. Besides, the state government has plans to create another district for Sundarbans, the famous mangrove forest area where Royal Bengal Tiger and other wildlife varieties can be found, she said. Kalimpong has been carved out of Darjeeling district while Asansol and Jhargram would be created from existing Burdwan and West Midnapore districts respectively. Asansol and Jhargram would be inaugurated in April, the chief minister said.

MP Congressmen Shun Differences, Lead Stir Against BJP Government

Scores of Congress workers under the senior leaders marched towards the state Legislative Assembly building to lay siege to it in protest against the “misrule” of the state BJP government. The massive protest seems to have galvanised the faction-ridden party unit as veterans like Kamal Nath, Digvijay Singh, besides Jyotiraditya Scindia, Arun Yadav, Suresh Pachouri put up a united show, being viewed as a morale-booster for the state Congress which has been out of power since 2003.

During his address, the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) national president Amrinder Singh Brar (Raja Brar) appealed to the seniors, especially Kamal Nath, to lead the party workers from front to gherao the Assembly. Congress leaders split themselves with former Union ministers Kamal Nath, Scindia and Pachouri going to the back of stage while Digvijay, state unit president Arun Yadav and former opposition leader Ajay Singh went to the front to lead the protest.

Gujarat Government Sets Aside Rs 320 Crore for Assembly Polls

Against Rs 129 crore in 2012, the state government has made a provision of Rs 320.16 crore in the budget for this year assembly elections. The fund set aside will cover logistics, security arrangements and other poll processes and does not include spending by candidates and political parties.

Like in 2012, the actual expenditure this year may cross the budgetary allocation. The actual poll expenditure in 2012 was Rs150 crore which is likely to touch Rs350 crore this year poll expenditure. In 2007, the state government had allocated Rs103 crore for assembly elections which rose by almost 50 percent to Rs150 crore in 2012. The Election Commission of India (ECI) shares 50 percent of the salary expenditure on permanent CEO office staff, expenses on preparation of photo electoral roll of voters, voter cards etc. The rest 50 percent of such expenses is taken care of by the state government.

Telangana CM Fulfils Rs 5 Crore Vow On Taxpayer’s Money

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao visited the temple town of Tirumala for the darshan of the presiding deity, Lord Sri Venkateswara, and offered jewellery worth Rs 5 crore to the deity, on February 22nd. KCR’s visit is in fulfilment of the vow he had taken during the struggle for separate Telangana that he would offer gold ornaments to Lord Venkateswara if the new state was formed.

He had planned to visit the temple town several times in the past. But the visit finally materialised on February 21st. He was accompanied by his family and a few cabinet colleagues. KCR was accorded a warm welcome when he landed at the Tirupati airport. The police heightened security in the ghat roads leading to the temple. Earlier, TTD executive officer D Sambasiva Rao and joint executive officer KS Sreenivasa Raju welcomed the chief minister. The TTD arranged for his stay at Sri Krishna guesthouse.

Naga Accord Will Not Compromise Manipur’s Integrity, Assures Modi

Amid rising concerns over the Naga accord, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25th assured Manipur that there is not ‘a single word’ in the 2015 agreement that would compromise the territory of the northeastern state. He also said a BJP government would accomplish works in 15 months that the Congress ‘took 15 years to do.’

Speaking at an election meeting in Imphal Modi said, “The Congress government in Manipur has been sleeping since 2015. The framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 and now the state government is raking up the issue with the election in view. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and others have been spreading lies to the people on the issue.” The Prime Minister said the BJP has a soft corner for the people of the North East region. He also said the central government is planning to make the North East an organic region.