Jharkhand can grow 4-5 pc above national average: Jaitley

ranchi: Free from ‘stigma of corruption’ and political instability, BJP-led Jharkhand can now exceed the national economic growth average by 4-5 per cent, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today.

“Jharkhand has a potential today with its natural resources, and potential for investment to grow at least 4-5 per cent ahead of the national average. Today, it is marginally 1 per cent above national average,” he said at the Jharkhand’s first global investors’ summit here.

India’s GDP expanded by 7.6 per cent in 2015-16.

After a spate of coalition government, the mineral-rich state has now a stable government and huge investment opportunities for investors, Jaitley said.

He said when Jharkhand was a part of Bihar, “a political model was developing which envisaged that you don’t need” economic development to win elections.

“But you merely have to indulge in some kind of social engineering and by that process of social engineering you could win the elections. And for a fairly long period, social engineering in preference to developmental policies dominated the centre stage of this region.

“Initially, there was political instability, and if I can be more candid, there was a stigma of corruption and therefore in today’s world where investor is the chooser, and investor has several multiple options, he does not like to invest or fish in troubled territories,” the senior BJP leader said.

He also said that the state, which was carved out of Bihar in November 2000, has suffered due to flawed economic policies and there was inherent reluctance in allowing big industries to come and participate in economic progress.

“Finally, we have now seen the maturing of Jharkhand both from point of view of governance, also from point of view of policy,” Jaitley said while highlighting growth potential of the state in terms of urbanisation, infrastructure, highways, airports and more cities.

The Finance Minister told the participating corporate leaders that there is investment opportunity in the state as well as potential for getting “great” returns.