A day after the Planning Commission ruled out special category status for Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made a fresh bid for it at the meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) in New Delhi on Thursday.
“Over the past six years, we have been continuously trying to secure special category status for Bihar. The Prime Minister graciously constituted an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) to look into the long-standing demand of Bihar. In its report, the Group suggested that Bihar’s development deficit needs special resource support to overcome the economic and infrastructure backwardness. However, the IMG didn’t consider the issues spelt out with due seriousness and reached preordained conclusions on parameters of special status. Bihar being a land-locked and a least developed State should have prompted the IMG to adopt a different approach altogether,” an official press release of Mr. Kumar’s speech stated.
The Chief Minister pointed out that States with the special category status had made “significant development strides and are undoubtedly far ahead of Bihar’s development indices.”
“Special Status for Bihar would support Bihar in multiple ways. The Centre will bear a higher percentage of Central share [90 per cent] of all the Centrally sponsored schemes. This will save our commitments of State share in Central schemes and help us to take more welfare-based schemes from our savings. Further, by giving a tax break both for Direct and Indirect Tax it would catalyse the private investment flows. This will in turn open new avenues of private investments leading to creation of employment opportunity in the State,” Mr. Kumar said.