Patna: Amid charges flying thick and fast over Centre’s Rs 1.25 lakh crore package to Bihar ahead of Assembly polls, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today once again trashed the central aid as “packaged myth” of old schemes to influence the electorate.
Kumar expressed his hard-hitting views on the special package in a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sent today. It was in response to Jaitley’s letter to Kumar dated August 28 which reached CM’s office on September 4.
“It is clear that this package for Bihar announced just before elections is nothing but well conceived packaged myth devised to influence people,” Kumar said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to the media.
The special package by the PM for Bihar announced at Ara on August 18 is being highlighted daily in newspapers here which makes it clear that it would find an important place in the campaign of the BJP-led NDA in the state poll.
Kumar pointed to lack of hectic action in the Union Finance Ministry to raise funds for it to buttress his charge.
“Your ministry is not seen to be scrambling to find resources, as if no additional allocations are to be provided from within the Union Budget,” he said in the letter.
Kumar also appended a detailed table to highlight the status of projects included in the special package.
Besides tearing into the PM’s special package, Kumar in his missive to the Union Finance Minister also contested the central government’s claim that Bihar is going to benefit a lot by increase in tax devolution as per recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission.
The Bihar CM who has been making a sustained attack on the PM’s special package, sought to evaluate it on four fundamental parametres.
Asking the “actual size” of the package, Kumar highlighted that a large chunk of the package up to the tune of Rs 1.08 lakh crore of the total Rs 1.25 lakh crore was coming out of the funds already promised to the state for on-going and pre-approved development endeavours and schemes.
“Same figures are now being passed off as new fund or investment,” he alleged.
Further, citing example of road sector, he said, “This package claims to earmark an additional Rs 54,713 crore for 41 projects for building highways, bridges & rail over bridges. But,reality is that much before this announcement, 37 out of 41 projects worth Rs 47,553 crore were already approved or approved in principle between 2007-2015.”