Extra resources for Bihar, not spl status: Plan Panel



Extra resources for Bihar, not spl status: Plan Panel Patna: Notwithstanding the denial of special category status to Bihar, the Centre has a substitute plan for the state to cope up with development deficit, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission M S Ahluwalia said on Wednesday.

"Special state status can't be ensured for one state as there are various technicalities involved. The chief minister (Nitish Kumar) has raised the demand, but the issue is the sole discretion of the National Development Council which has laid down certain criteria for it," Ahluwalia told reporters here after meeting Kumar.

Noting that special state status only secured extra resources, Ahluwalia said "we have a special Bihar plan as a substitute which we want to enhance to cope with the development deficit, an issue raised by the chief minister."

The Planning Commission, he said, had no role in giving special status as it was accorded according to norms approved by the NDC, pointing out that some other states had made a similar demand.

"Bihar has made significant improvement all these years in almost all sectors and it needs extra resources for growth which we have recommended this year," Ahluwalia said.

"We will also try to mobilise the central agencies for speeding up work under the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) and flood protection," he said, adding the commission had recommended extra resources for reaching critical help to the state.

Asked about the state's demand for special package for floods, the deputy chairman said he would discuss the issue after returning to Delhi.

"Long term measure for flood protection is being discussed at the Planning Commission which has just created a national mission," he added.

Kumar said the Planning Commission had recommended doubling the allocation of funds under the Shram Vikas Yojana from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 2,000 crore this year and approved the proposals for funds for revival and modernisation of the Barauni and Kanti thermal power plants.

In reply to a question on the plan size for the state, Kumar said "we have to increase the plan outlay for which we made a request to Ahluwalia."

He said the Planning Commission's help has also been sought following the indications of reduction in the state's share in central taxes in 2009-10.

A wide ranging issues, including plan expenditure to work going on in other sectors came up during the meeting, Kumar said.

Special problems relating to floods, power, education, hospitals, lack of doctors, use of water and coal linkages for projects were also discussed, he added.

The Chief minister said that the Planning Commission had recommended doubling the allocation of funds under the Sam Vikas Yojana from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 2,000 crore this year and approved the state's proposals for funds for revival and modernisation of the Barauni and Kanti thermal power plants.

In reply to a question on the plan size for the state, Kumar said "we have to increase the plan outlay for which we made a request to Ahluwalia."

He said that Ahluwalia's help has also been sought following the indications of reduction in the state's share in central taxes 2009-10.

He said wide-ranging issues ranging from plan expenditure to work going on in other sectors came up during the meeting.

Special problems relating to floods, power, education, hospitals, lack of doctors, use of water and coal linkages for projects were also discussed, he said.

The state government in its report said after division of Bihar, a special plan was formulated for the state and Rs 8,297 crore were sanctioned for road, power, irrigation besides assiging work to central agencies for which Rs 1000 crore additional allocation was needed.

The state government emphasised on the need for stepping up annual allocation.

Besides, several steps have been taken for improving healthcare system with appointment of 1,757 doctors, 10,618 nurses, 477 health managers and 69000 ASHAS with thrust on capacity expansion of hospitals, opening new PHCs and sub centres and introducing institutional delivery system.

"We are making a headway in improvement of infrastrructure with much focus on road and power sectors," officials told Ahluwalia during the meeting at Secretariat here.

IGP (Meerut zone) Javed Akhtar and Commissioner (Meerut division) Shravan Kumar controlled the situation at the village. Heavy police force and CRPF have been deployed in Simbhaoli and affected villages, sources said.

DM R Ramesh Kumar has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.

Meanwhile, MM Baig has been posted as the new SP (rural) and Rahul Srivastava as the DSP.

Bureau Report