October 27, 2020

Omission to commission

Patna A 15th finance commission team will be in Bihar from July 10 to 12 and the state will make a presentation to it, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said on Wednesday. The demand of special status for the state, however, was not included in the presentation details Modi shared.

The team, headed by headed by N.K. Singh and including commission members Shaktikanta Das, Anup Singh, Ashok Lahiri and Ramesh Chandra, will meet representatives of political parties, of panchayati raj institutions, urban local bodies, trade, commerce and industries.

The state government will make a presentation before the commission team on July 12 and submit a memorandum to it. Sushil Modi chaired a meeting with officials on Wednesday to discuss the points of the memorandum.

The deputy CM said that Bihar would benefit from the proposal of making the 2011 census the basis for devolution of funds to the states. Earlier, the 1971 census used to be the basis.

Modi said that Bihar would also press for using the 11th finance commission formula for devolution of funds, under which recommendation had been made to give 12.589 per cent of the funds to the state whereas the 14th finance commission had brought it down to 9.6 per cent.

The deputy CM said that memorandum would also press that the Centre should bear all the cost that state had to bear during the floods last year in which Rs 5,000 crore had been spent. The 14th finance commission had recommended devolution of just Rs 2,591 crore to Bihar under the disaster management head whereas it had recommended devolution of Rs 8,195 crore to Maharashtra and Rs 6,094 crore to Rajasthan under this head.

Bihar, Modi said, will also press for special grant for implementation of the state’s agriculture roadmap, the chief minister’s seven resolves, for development of places of archaeological importance, and mitigating climate change impact.

Modi, however, didn’t mention a single word about the demand of special category status, which chief minister Nitish Kumar pressed for during the recently held meeting of the Niti Aayog.

The JDU, which shares power with the BJP in Bihar, has been pressing for this demand from all possible platforms and the party has resolved to raise this issue before the finance commission.

JDU spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said all political parties had supported the demand for special status in the legislature and hence none could backtrack from the demand.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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