Patna: The Rs 12,000-crore special package for Bihar announced by the Centre for the remainder of the 12th five year plan evoked mixed reaction in the state as the ruling BJP JD(U) combine complained that the allocation fell far short of the demand for Rs 20,000 crore while the Congress hailed the decision.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is on a visit to Balmiki Nagar in Bagha district, is yet to react to the announcement. However, BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi described the allocation as 'illusory.'
Modi, who is also the state's finance minister, said this was not a new package for Bihar. "The decision forms part of a special package announced by the NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee after separation of Jharkhand from it and there is nothing new in this."
The Bihar government had sought Rs 57,344 crore in the 12th five year plan and a sum of Rs 20,000 crore under the Backward Regions Grant Fund during the plan period, but the Centre chose to lower the allocation to Rs 12,000 crore, he said.
Accusing the Centre of discriminating against Bihar, Modi said the UPA government had also slashed Rs 1,800 crore in the annual budget for 2013-14 as compared to the last fiscal.
The special package approved by the Union Cabinet yesterday is widely seen as part of the Centre's efforts to reach out to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar amid indication of severance of ties between old NDA allies JD(U) and BJP.
Congress, on the other hand, praised Manmohan Singh government's "sincere attempt to reduce backwardness of the state".


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