Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has sought special developmental assistance of over Rs one lakh crore from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pointing to an estimated 'loss' of Rs 50,000 crore to the state due to the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission.
"In the light of the budget speech of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that Bihar will get special financial assistance on the pattern of one given to Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation, we expect the Union government to provide finance to the tune of Rs 1,07,887 crore for different projects," Kumar said in a memorandum, which he handed over to the Prime Minister at a meeting at Delhi yesterday.
The nine-page memorandum, a copy of which was made available to the media here today, the Bihar CM sought special financial assistance for projects in six departments - Rural Works, Road Construction, Agriculture, Panchayati Raj, Urban Development and Tourism.
A sum of Rs 32,600 crore was demanded for connecting habitats having population of 250 and more in all districts with all weather roads, which would be of 41,380 km.
In the Road Construction department, he sought Rs 8,148 crore for constructing a bridge on Ganga near Kachhi dargah with approach roads.
In the Agriculture sector, Kumar demanded Rs 41,587 crore for promoting food processing, storage, farm research and cooperative among others.
A sum of Rs 7,285 crore was needed for building panchayat bhawans in all 6,633 panchayats of the state.
For Urban Development department, Kumar sought an assistance of Rs 12,355 crore for constructing Metro rail in Patna and for 12 projects under National Mission on cleaning Ganga.
In the Tourism sector, Rs 5,912 crore was sought for developing infrastructure at famous historical circuits associated with Buddhism, Jainism, Sufi, Ramayan, Sikhs and Mahatama Gandhi. Besides, money was also demanded for adding facilities on the banks of River Ganga.
In the memorandum, Kumar made a strong case for special assistance to Bihar and said subsequent Finance Commissions and the Planning Commission had failed to ensure balanced development of the state.
He told Modi that Bihar's per capita income calculated at Rs 15,650 annually in 2013-14 at constant price of 2004-05, was far behind the national average of Rs 39,904.
"To bring the per capita income of Bihar at par with the national average in a fixed time, the growth rate of Bihar should be double to that at the national level," he said.
Kumar told the PM that besides incurring financial loss to Bihar, the 14th Finance Commission "shut the door for special category status for Bihar."