Patna: An all-party meeting convened by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, which was boycotted by the BJP, on Monday decided to "write" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the "estimated Rs 50,000 crore loss" to the state due to the 14th Finance Commission recommendations.
The meeting attended by leaders from RJD, Congress, CPI and CPI(M), decided to ask the Centre to compensate for the huge financial loss to Bihar due to the recommendations and let the special assistance being given under Backward Region Grants Fund (BRGF) continue and increase funds provided to the state.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Kumar said "Taking everything into consideration, including the announcement in the Union budget that Bihar will be given assistance on the lines of Andhra Pradesh, we have decided to write a detailed letter to the Prime Minister about the loss to the state due to the 14th Finance Commission recommendations."
Kumar said Bihar would suffer a loss of Rs 10,000 crore during 2015-16 fiscal due to the recommendations.
"If we take the entire five year tenure of the 14th Finance Commission till 2019-20, the state will suffer an estimated Rs 50,000 crore loss. We will ask the central government to compensate for it, continue the special assistance to Bihar and increase the funds given to the state," he said.
The Chief Minister said the Commission has increased the share of states in central taxes by ten per cent to 42 per cent, which would enhance the money that would come to states like Bihar.
But at the same time, it has also done away with what the states used to get separately by the Planning Commission under plan expenditure, he said.
Kumar pointed out the Centre's share in the Centre- sponsored schemes has also been decreased.
"Money given to Bihar under BRGF after separation of Jharkhand has been stopped in the Union budget. Though we will get an increased amount through the 14th Finance Commission, yet it will be an overall decrease," he added.
BJP kept away from the all-party meeting saying it was
not told about the agenda of the meeting.
Expressing "sadness" over the saffron party's absence, Kumar said state Finance Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav had sent a letter informing BJP about the subject on which the meeting was called, but they (BJP) suddenly changed their mind.
"There was no reason for them for not coming. What they did was completely inappropriate. I am sad because party-based division should not be on such an important issue. It is a question of the welfare of Bihar and its people," Kumar said.
"The BJP should not adopt such a stubborn and negative approach. We are not going to criticise or accuse anybody. We are demanding our right. They should cast away their rigidity as there is a need to unite over this issue," he said.
The Chief Minister said he was appealing to the BJP for not taking a negative and divisive stand, specially on the occasion of Bihar Divas.
"If we can give a joint memorandum on the Finance Commission, whey cannot we unite over this issue for the betterment of Bihar?" Kumar argued.
Earlier, Kumar had written to Modi on February 26 regarding the loss Bihar would suffer due to the 14th Finance Commission recommendations. He also placed detailed data in this regard in the ongoing session of the Bihar Legislature.
Coming out from the all-party meeting, RJD Legislature Party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui said "This is a matter of Bihar's poverty and backwardness, so we all met together and decided to take a united stand over the Finance Commission recommendations. We will pursue it with all strength."
Congress Legislature Party leader Sadanand Singh and CPI's A N Singh were among the prominent who participated in the meeting.