Nitish writes to PM for special status to Bihar
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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has sought special category status for the state to help spur its growth. He has told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the state would need at least 30 years to catch up with the national average. He made this projection citing the state's per capita income, which is one-third of the country and its low development indices in core sectors.
The renewed demand was made in a letter written by Kumar to the PM, which he handed over to him during a meeting on December 6 in New Delhi. A copy of the six-page letter was made available to the media on Sunday.
In his letter, Kumar contested a report of the Inter-Ministerial Group set up by the PM that rejected the state's plea for special status but suggested that the state's development deficit needs special resource support to overcome economic and infrastructural backwardness.
"As if with settled predilections and hurried consultations, the IMG came to the conclusion that Bihar does not have a hilly terrain or a sparse population to deserve a special category state status," Kumar wrote. Contesting the report, he said, "This was some what ironical, if not contradictory, because on several key parameters particularly the proneness to natural disaster, high population density and being at the rock bottom of all developmental indicators should have led to the opposite conclusion."
Kumar said while the per capita income of non-special category states in 2009-10 was Rs 914, the share of Bihar was a meagre Rs 465. He pointed out that Bihar also has the lowest per capita spending on education, health, social and other economic services.