Area-specific strategy needed for disadvantaged states: President

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Patna, March 24 (IANS) Disadvantaged regions like Bihar and Jharkhand require a strategy for development that can harness productive forces of the economy and not just blindly follow path of industrialisation, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday.

“We need to realise that for seriously disadvantaged regions like Bihar and Jharkhand, a strategy of development requires policy makers to unleash the productive forces of economy, and not just unquestionably follow a path of industrialisation, as was done by countries or regions which had developed earlier,” Mukherjee said.

The President said that the enormous gap between the potential and reality of development in Bihar and Jharkhand, the former having plenty of fertile land and the latter endowed with abundant mineral resources, had attracted the attention of many scholars.

“Despite the region being a land of rich mineral resources and fertile soil, relative economic progress and development could not take place,” Mukherjee observed while inaugurating a conference here organised by the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI).

“It is here that one requires directed research which can identify appropriate policies that best suit the interests of the regions,” he said.

He said one should consider the immense potential of human development for promoting economic development in regions like Bihar and Jharkhand.

The international experience shows that for specially disadvantaged regions, human development could be an alternative development strategy, he said.

Mukherjee, however, observed that of late, both states had started doing well, particularly Bihar had shown the way in implementation of many social development schemes.

“The growth performance of Bihar’s economy has been steady over the past one decade, registering an annual growth rate at 10.5 per cent. This is a remarkable achievement,” he said.

The President said that while Bihar still remained a largely agricultural state, Jharkhand was “slowly transforming itself into an economy with larger share of service sector”.

–IANS

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