Nitish reiterates demand for special status to Bihar



Patna: Observing that the state has huge potential for industrial development, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday urged the Centre to tweak criteria for special status and accord it to the state so that it could get private investment in the industrial sector.

"We see a ray of hope in our effort for special status as Union Finance minister P Chidamabaram has talked about reviewing criteria to accommodate the aspirations of the economically backward states," said Kumar, who will hold a public meeting in New Delhi on March 17 to press for special status demand.

"The first and foremost important thing is that Bihar should be granted special status so that it could tap private investment for industrial development," Kumar said.

The grant of special status was beneficial to states as it brought private investment since investors received tax-related incentives, the Chief Minister said.

Besides, special categories states also benefited in having to make less contribution in implementation of centrally sponsored schemes at 90:10 ratio, he said.

Once Bihar received special status, it would enable the state government to utilise surplus funds upto about Rs 7,000 crore that went in implementation of central schemes for industrial development, while the Centre's grant on various heads too would increase substantially, Kumar said.

Kumar said that the state government planned to promote industrial development on its own for which policy decisions have been taken and various incentives provided to interested entrepreneurs.

PTI