Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reiterated demand for grant of special category status and extra Central assistance citing that industry, trade and investment will not come to the densely populated state, until it gets the special status.
“Trade, industry and investment are possible in the state only if it gets the special category status. It is not fair that the state has to spend its funds in Central-sponsored schemes.”
Bihar assembly Speaker, Vijay Kumar Chaudhary had previously said, “I agree that granting special status is out of the purview of this Finance Commission, but your attention is required to thrust for the development of Bihar. If Bihar’s geographical makeup (which is a top parameter for granting this status to any states) is considered, the state fits the bill for the first and foremost. Around 73% of the geographical expanse of the state are flood prone. Water from Nepal inundated north Bihar almost every year, due to which the state suffers a lot.”
The visiting 15th Finance Commission stated that it is not in its ambit to recommend special category status to states.
“I wish to clear the misgivings that surround the commission’s role in the grant of special category status to states. Making such a recommendation does not fall in the ambit of our constitutional mandate. No state has ever been granted special category status based on the recommendations of the Finance Commission”, Finance Commission chairperson, NK Singh said.
NK Singh also mentioned that the state’s demands will be sympathetically considered because of its geographical constraints.
“The Chief Minister has made his suggestions logically and there is a need to look at them. The commission would seriously and sympathetically look at what is best interest of Bihar.”
Nitish said, “The 14th Finance Commission had promised that there would not be any discrimination between general states and special category states. The 15th Finance Commission has to look into it. The commission has to see all practical constraints of Bihar and take a call.”