Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday voiced confidence that the inter-ministerial group would take decision in favour of according special status to the state of Bihar.
     
The inter-ministerial group held discussions with a delegation of officials from Bihar led by Chief Secretary Navin Kumar for over 90 minutes in New Delhi earlier during the day.

"Both facts and logic are heavily in favour of the state's demand for a special status to Bihar and I have confidence that Bihar would definitely be accorded a special state status by the Centre," Kumar said.
     
He described Monday's meeting with the members of inter-ministerial group in New Delhi as satisfactory.
     
On remarks allegedly made by Team Anna against JD (U) National President Sharad Yadav, he said in a parliamentary system and democratic set up everybody had the right of running a campaign or saying something.

"But at the same time people should refrain from use of indecent remarks against leaders and crossing the limits of decency should be avoided."

To a question of possibility of mid-term poll in the country, the Chief Minister said it would 'largely depend' on the parties within UPA and those supporting it.

On the reports of alleged attempts to bribe Army Chief V K Singh, the chief minister said, "Everyday there are reports of one issue after another at the Centre.

"This is a phase of instability at the centre and the matter regarding Army Chief required to be thoroughly probed," he said.

IMG considering special status

The Inter Ministerial Group (IMG), which is considering granting special status to Bihar, is likely to support its report to the Centre by March 31. After considering the report of Planning Commission member secretary Sudha Pillai headed IMG, the Centre will decide whether to grant special status to Bihar or not.

In its meeting on Monday, the IMG hinted at handing over the report to the Centre by March 31. Pillai is going to retire from her service on March, 31. She wants to summit the report in this time frame.

For this, she sought some additional information from Bihar. Bihar Chief Secretary Navin Kumar-led team comprising senior IAS officials on Monday presented their views before the IMG. Along with Pillai, Expenditure Secretary, Sumit Bose and Revenue Secretary RS Gujral are also the members of the IMG.

In the meeting, the Chief Secretary tried to convince the IMG members by giving presentation as to why Bihar needs to have special status.

Navin Kumar said, “Bihar fulfills all the criteria for special status state for example sharing with international border, dense population, lack of infrastructure like road, electricity and industrial backwardness.

Pillai said granting special status to Bihar does not guarantee that the state will receive tax deduction facility Uttarakhand and north eastern states have.

The IMG members hinted at Bihar’s share in Centre-sponsored schemes is likely to be increased. But state officials argued that despite tax deduction, Bihar will not be in a position to equate with the developed states.

No corporate house will set up their industries there given higher tax. Bihar gets aid in ratio of 70:30 in the centre-sponsored schemes while the special status states get the aid in the ratio of 90:10.

JPN/Bureau/Agencies