Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on vehicles’ sale: Bihar Economic survey

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PATNA: The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the transport sector in Bihar, according to the latest Economic Survey for the state, which was laid on the floor of state legislature on Friday.

The report says the revenue collection of the transport department dipped by 16.30% in fiscal 2020-21 even as the state government almost doubled the expenditure on development of bridges and roads during the same period.

Around 7.39 lakh new motorcycles hit the roads in 2020-21 as compared to 11.29 lakh registered in the previous fiscal 2019-20. Similarly, 13,000 new trucks and 1,000 new buses were registered in 2020-21, against 29,000 trucks and 3,000 buses in 2019-20.

In 2019-20, 62,000 cars were registered while the number dipped to 56,000 in 2020-21.

Sale of autos too witnessed a similar dip, from 79,000 to 38,000. However, sale of tractors maintained its growth trajectory, selling 48,000 vehicles in 2020-21 as compared to 41,000 in 2019-20.

Director of Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) PP Ghosh said, “It’s not that the purchasing power of individuals declined so profoundly. The pandemic prevented people from spending on luxury.” Officials of the finance department said the transport sector has been otherwise growing at the rate of 10.7% annually over the past one decade.

“The railways sector rose by 5%, water transport by 5.2%, services incidental to transport by 11.8%, road transport by 12.1% and air transport received the highest growth of 24% in 2020-21,” said a deputy secretary rank of officer. Even during the pandemic phase, transport sector received 7.5% growth in Bihar,” he added.

Ghosh said that overall spending on betterment of road transport facilities has increased to 6575 crore in 2020-21 vis-à-vis 2019-20 of 3496 crore. However, a majority of investment was revenue expenditure to maintain the road infrastructure, as shortage of goods’ movement and manpower restrained the government from spending much on creation of new infrastructure.


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