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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has again made the demanded of special category status for Bihar saying it will make the state a major contributor in the nation’s growth.
He raised the issue in a letter to NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya in response to his letter over formulation of vision and strategy for the period beyond the 12th Five Year Plan.
“For us to realise the dream of developed India and developed Bihar by 2030, it is absolutely necessary to relook and consider the lack of resources of less developed states like Bihar and its demand for special category status,” he said in the letter, made available to the media today.
Kumar stressed on regional imbalances since Independence as the country witnessed different trajectory of development and deprivations which, he said, has resulted in creation of “island of development within the country.”
“Bihar with a population of 8 per cent of the country’s population contributes only about 3 per cent of the national GDP. It has always been our quest to be a contributor and not a drag to national growth. This can be achieved if the 8 per cent population of Bihar contributes say 10 per cent to the national GDP,” he added.
The delay in redefining poverty measurement and release of socio-economic-caste census 2011 data is regressive, Kumar said in the letter.
“One size fit all or centralised strategy” has never worked or can never be fruitful for the country, he said. “The government of India initiates entitlement & habitation based planning which would galvanise the planning process in meeting the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) challenges,” he said.
The Bihar CM also pointed out that reduction in central allocation and alterations in the funding pattern of various centrally-sponsored schemes has resulted in increased burden on the states.
The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna was earlier fully funded by the Centre but now the states have to pay 40 per cent of the cost affecting states like Bihar, he said.