Beijing: On a study tour to China to comprehend its development, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar appeared impressed with its growth but sounded diffident about its applicability to India.
Kumar was, however, struck by how a Communist country was transformed into that of a capitalist one in the process.
Summing up his week-long tour to both urban and rural areas of China, visiting various infrastructure projects which propelled the country into a second largest economy in the world, Nitish told Indian media here that Chinese system showcased well how development can be achieved through a centralised system of governance.
But the country which was once headed Communist revolution took to capitalist mode of development. "If you cannot say this capitalism, what else is it," he asked, asserting that profit is the motive in a capitalist model which was shunned in a Communist ideology," the Lohiate socialist said.
Nitish was on a tour at the invitation of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) which in the past invited several Chief Ministers from India to showcase its model of development.
Yet another contrast was wherever he went, the Chinese officials from cities, provinces and the centre spoke only about GDP of their areas.
There was no talk about below poverty line and its related issues, he said. "Everybody was talking GDP but there was no discussion about poverty. China has developed so much if there is still talk about people below the poverty line then there is no bigger failure than this," he said.
On the contrary, however in Bihar his government while implementing infrastructure projects in a major way, "given the same importance to education and health care besides food security," he said.
Chinese in the recent months have publicly acknowledged that as per UN studies, the country still has over 150 million people below the poverty line, which was why it remained a developing one.
Nitish was also struck by China`s option to shift from "Commune" agriculture to "Company" agriculture where the land is administered by corporate managers but not the farmers.
Such a move to boost agriculture in India is not possible as land it dearer to the farmers and it cannot be separated from them.
He was sceptical about massive modern projects like maglev trains and high speed train projects, which are widely being promoted in China.
“How can these projects be implemented in India. Maglev trains are so costly. China can showcase it. Where can we bring the land and money," he said.
Similarly the high speed double tracks require a km distance between the two, which required to be fenced.
"Where can land for it," he asked it is virtually impossible to implement such projects in India. Also corruption issues that eroded the credibility of projects in India, he said adding that he brought about laws in Bihar which required time bound completion of corruption cases and declaration of assets by officials.
He however declined to comment on 2G scam and the controversy over Lokpal bill.
He said he was impressed with discipline and dedication shown in implantation of the projects and the quality maintained.
But at the same time convinced that the India and China model of development was different and the Indian model however cumbersome worked once credible consensus was reached with the support of established democratic institutions.
He attended a dinner hosted by Indian Ambassador to China, S Jaishankar today.
He is due to inaugurate a Buddhist conference here being jointly organised by India and China.