Slamming the Centre for its alleged apathy towards according special status to Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said that special treatment is necessary for sustaining the existing GDP rate.

“We have to sustain the existing GDP rate and for it we require private investments....according special status to Bihar is necessary for the purpose,” Mr. Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of his Janata Darbar programme.

He said the state would raise the issue of securing the special state category during the forthcoming meeting of the finance ministers in New Delhi.

“We will also take up the issue relating to removal of restrictions on allowing manufacturing of ethanol through sugarcane juice... it has blocked huge investments in private sector,” he said. The issue of coal linkages for thermal power plants in Bihar would also be raised.

On the Centre doubling the allocation of funds under the special plan for Bihar for the current fiscal, Mr. Kumar said the centre has not done any favour by doing so.

The special assistance is being provided by the Centre under the Bihar Reorganisation Act “and we raised the issue of doubling the central allocation even during 2009-10.”

“A special cell was constituted during the tenure of erstwhile NDA government at the Centre in the Planning Commission, which takes care of the special grants under the state Reorganisation Act after a separate state of Jharkhand was created,” Mr. Kumar said.

On the proposed visit of World Bank Group Chairman Robert B. Zoellick to Bihar on January 12, Mr. Kumar said he is thankful to the WB for considering the proposal of providing soft loans worth Rs. 1,000 crore for construction of one lakh houses for homeless people following 2008 floods.

Stating that the Centre has failed to provide the package for rehabilitation and reconstruction of Kosi belt, he said that the agreement for the soft loan would be initiated by the officials of WB and the state government the same day.