Nitish Kumar reiterates demand of special category to Bihar

Ghughuti Bulletin

PATNA: Amidst reports of growing bonhomie between the Leader of Opposition
Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and him in the home state, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Friday emphatically reiterated the demand of granting
special category status to his state, before the Union Minister of Home Amit Shah.

Addressing the 24th meeting of
Eastern Zonal Council at Bhubaneswar, Nitish said his government had consistently been placing its demand before the Union government for granting special category status to Bihar. “Today, I once again strongly put up before the Union home minister my demand of granting special category status to Bihar so that we can get our genuine share and Bihar too can progress and make its contribution in development of the country,” Nitish said.

Shah, being the chairman of the Eastern Zonal Council, was chairing the meeting, which was also attended by Naveen Patnaik and Mamata Banerjee, CMs of Odisha and West Bengal, respectively. Jharkhand’s finance minister Rameshwar Oraon represented Hemant Soren at the meet. States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal are member of the Eastern Zonal Council.

“Despite achieving double digit growth rate during the last so many years, we are still behind the national average in major development parameters viz., poverty line, per capita income, industrialization and social and physical infrastructure. Some other states also are like Bihar in terms of backwardness. The states, which are given special status, have progressed on development scale. Therefore, a new policy framework is needed to bring all the backward states to the national mainstream in terms of development,” Nitish argued.

Bihar CM further sought an active cooperation from Jharkhand and West Bengal governments to put an effective check on smuggling of illegal liquor inside Bihar. “Bihar has enforced total prohibition sicne April 2016. Several vehicles laden with illegal liquors were seized in the recent past by Bihar Police after they crossed borders of the two states. We urged the governments of WB and Jharkhand to take effective action against the smugglers who are sending illicit liquor to dry Bihar,” Nitish said.

He further urged Shah to prevail upon the Jharkhand government and asked it to clear a pending payment of Rs 310 crore to Bihar under the pension liability, as agreed before a meeting of union home secretary on June 18, 2018.

He also drew attention of the Union home minister towards Bihar’s pending dues of Rs 911.82 crore with the erstwhile Planning Commission under the special plan (Backward region grant fund) and urged him to ask the NITI Aayog (which was formed in place of Planning Commission) to send the amount at the earliest.

Nitish further pointed out that altogether 10 companies of the
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) which were stationed in Bihar, were sent to the other states in the recent past. Out of 10, only two companies have so far returned to Bihar. “I request the Union home minister to ensure early return of the rest eight companies to Bihar for maintaining control on extremist forces,” the CM said.

He also demanded allotment of Rs 1,000 crore per year to Bihar under the Centre’s project- ‘Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India’ to enhance agriculture output in the state. He further asked for formulation of National Silt Management Policy to maintain uninterrupted flow of water in Ganga river and check floods in the region.

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