Patna: Hailing the Raghuram Rajan panel report on Bihar as a "positive" development, panel member Shaibal Gupta on Sunday said that though decks were clear for the grant of special status to the state, it, however, would require a "political will" for the fulfilment.
"The first round of battle has been won (Raghuram Rajan panel report), but the war remains to be won," he told reporters here referring to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar`s pet political agenda, demand for special status to Bihar.
"The grant of special status is a political decision requiring political will," Gupta who had submitted a 10-page dissenting note on the report to protest against non-inclusion of variables like per capita income, energy consumption and freight equalisation that would have ensured Bihar`s standing as the least developed state on Multi-Dimensional Index (MDI).
All states classified among the least developed states should join forces together on the lines of coalition of backward states to pitch for grant of special status, he said.
Referring to the Raghuram Rajan panel report, which put Bihar as the second least developed state in the country, he said it must be welcomed as a `historic` and `positive` development as it will bring in additional funds to Bihar if it`s recommendation was to be implemented by the centre to make additional devolution to the least developed states.
Bihar would be the second biggest beneficiary of the additional devolution after Uttar Pradesh if the centre decides to implement the report in future, Gupta, who a founding member and secretary of Patna-based Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), said.