- Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made a fresh demand on the special category status for state.
- Despite our efforts, growth rate isn’t enough keeping in mind Bihar’s population & area: CM
- In a letter to NITI Aayog, the govt said Bihar “fulfilled all criteria” set for special status.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday made a fresh demand on the special category status for the state. Adding that the growth rate isn’t enough keeping in mind Bihar’s population and area despite the efforts, the CM revisited the demand Bihar has been making for the “past 10-12 years”.
“The per-person income of Rs 7,914 in 2004-05 increased to Rs 50,735 in 2019-20. Despite our efforts, the growth rate isn’t enough keeping in mind Bihar’s population & area. NITI Aayog says Bihar is a backward state. Thus we demand the special category status,” Nitish Kumar said.
Earlier on Sunday, Bijendra Yadav, the state minister for planning and implementation wrote a letter to NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar, pitching again for the special category status. In the letter, Yadav asserted that Bihar “fulfilled all the criteria” set for grant of special status.
In his letter, the minister admitted that Bihar stood way below the national average when it came to indicators like per capita income, ease of living, and human development.
Yadav blamed the state of affairs on “peculiar problems” of “landlocked” Bihar which had a high density of population with scarce natural resources and was plagued by vicissitudes like drought and flood that affected more than half of its districts.
The minister also complained of the “lack of initiative” on part of the Centre for setting up public sector units in Bihar which could give a fillip to “industrial growth and technical education” in the state.
Besides, Bihar “remained deprived of the benefits of the Green Revolution”, the minister said, highlighting the suboptimal agricultural development in the state.
Despite these limitations imposed by geography and history, the state had registered a “robust growth rate in the last decade and a half” and achieved “development with justice”, Yadav said.
Pointing out that NITI Aayog has been set up with the aim of economic “transformation” of the country, Yadav stressed that the same cannot be accomplished without transforming Bihar.
The grant of special category status will reduce the state’s liabilities with regard to welfare schemes and put the government in a position to dole out “tax rebates” and “financial subsidies” to attract private investment which could accelerate the growth engine further, the minister said.
(with PTI inputs)
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