Mitigate growing regional inequalities: Nitish to PM

Mitigate growing regional inequalities: Nitish to PM

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to accord a special category status to Bihar and to allocate a financial package for reconstruction and rehabilitation activities in areas affected by Kosi floods last year.

"One important challenge before you is to mitigate growing regional inequalities and in this context, to redress the endemic economic backwardness of Bihar," he said in a letter congratulating Manmohan Singh for assuming office for a second term.

Kumar said the state government had for long been requesting the Centre for a special category status to be accorded to Bihar given its poor infrastructure, low tax base, low per capita expenditure, high poverty rate and hesistant appetite for private investment.

"This (the special category status) will improve state finances and attract private investment," he said, adding a resolution in support of the demand had been unanimously adopted by the state assembly.

The Centre should also help Bihar in agro processing, road and energy sectors, debt amelioration and poverty entitlement, he said.

Bihar government, Kumar said, had submitted a detailed memorandum for availing a Rs 14,800 crore package after the Kosi flood. "But far from favourably considering the request, Centre sought refund of Rs 1,000 crore which was specifically meant for immediate relief, on the basis of misleading data."

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