Nitish Kumar urged for extra central assistance to Bihar

Vastavam web: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has urged the 15th Finance Commission to grant extra central assistance to the state citing its progress with the help of its own limited resources. Making a presentation before the commission headed by its Chairman N K Singh Wednesday, Kumar also expressed disapproval of the doing away with the distinction between general and special category states.

“The removal of such a distinction is a paradox which the 15th Finance Commission should look into,” Kumar was quoted as saying in an official release. “Seventy per cent of the state’s area gets affected by floods. In 2017, the state had to spend Rs 2,400 crore in providing relief to the affected families. The central help was of only Rs 500 crore. It needs to be increased”, he said.

He also expressed displeasure over states having to make contributions towards centrally sponsored schemes and requested for funds to meet development needs like schools and infrastructure for Panchayati Raj institutions. Observing that forest cover is being taken into account during allocation of funds by the Centre, the chief minister said, “We had set up a Hariyali Mission to increase the forest cover which has risen to 15 per cent from mere seven per cent in 2000 when Jharkhand was carved out.”

The commission also held interactions with representatives of various political parties, Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chowdhury and RJD leader and former state finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui. It was also presented with a joint memorandum of political parties and academic/professional organisations drafted by city-based think tank Asian Development Research Organisation (ADRI).