ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Special Category Status

Will It Actually Benefit Bihar?

Even if Bihar is accorded Special Category State status, as its chief minister is demanding, it will not gain much because, by far, the larger proportion of transfers from the centre to the states is in the form of central and centrally-sponsored schemes. In any case, Bihar should be looking at other impediments to development and not an imagined resource constraint.

The opinions expressed are strictly personal

Even if Bihar is accorded Special Category State status, as its chief minister is demanding, it will not gain much because, by far, the larger proportion of transfers from the centre to the states is in the form of central and centrally-sponsored schemes. In any case, Bihar should be looking at other impediments to development and not an imagined resource constraint.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s aversion to Narendra Modi who may be the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections is well known. The discomfiture of the Congress Party, yet to recover fully from the damage caused by the series of corruption scandals like the Commonwealth Games and 2G, Adarsh, Coalgate and Choppergate, is also well known. As a result, the grand old party of India seems to be a little uncertain of the outcome of the 2014 elections. It is therefore not surprising that Nitish Kumar and the Congress are cosying up to each other. Union Finance Minister Chidambaram has already promised to review the case for special category status for Bihar, something Nitish Kumar has steadfastly been demanding for sometime now.

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