Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has again raised the issue of special status for the state.
Referring to the NITI Aayog’s latest report, he pointed out that if Bihar is in the last position, the Centre should give special status to it. Bihar is now fulfilling all the criteria for special status, he added.
“We took over the charge of the state in 2005. At that time, there was no infrastructure in the state. We have relentlessly worked on it and the state gradually walked on the path of development. Things are now much better than what they were 16 years ago,” he said.
“I want to point out that the per capita income of Bihar was Rs 7,194 in 2005 and now it has reached Rs 50,735 in 2021. The annual budget of 2004-05 was Rs 23,875 crore which has now reached Rs 2,18,000 in 2021. Bihar is at 12th position area-wise compared to other states, but is on third position as far as population is concerned. We will soon reach to the second position in this respect. Hence, special status of Bihar is the need of hour,” Nitish Kumar said.
“At present, we are getting money from the Centre in the ratio of 60:40 with 60 per cent for every development project sanctioned by the Centre. If the Centre give special status to Bihar, the ratio will be changed to 90:10. That means, whatever surplus money we would have will be utilised for the development of Bihar. Once that would happen, Bihar will rapidly rise to the national average of the development,” He said, adding that special status for Bihar is our long standing demand over the years.
Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi, while interacting with media persons in Patna on Saturday, had said that there is no need to give Bihar a special status.
Reacting to the NITI Aayog’s report, she said: “Whatever development work is taking place in Bihar is due to the financial help of the Centre. The construction of six to eight lane roads is taking place in Bihar under National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), colleges, hospitals are being made due to funds given by the Central government and it is more than the fund allocated under special status.”