Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday urged the Centre to include Sheohar and Lakhisarai in the list of districts under the Integrated Action Plan to get additional central assistance on 100 percent grant basis.

Kumar made the request to Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh at a meeting at his residence, an official release said here.

The two leaders discussed in detail execution of various rural development schemes in Bihar.

The Chief Minister urged Ramesh to provide maximum assistance from his ministry for all round development in the rural areas of the state.

Ramesh said his ministry has decided to include backward and Naxal-affected Sitamarhi and West Champaran among districts covered under the IAP for economic and infrastructural development, the release said.

Kumar made a demand for according special category status to Bihar and asked Ramesh to plead the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He stressed on the need for more banks in Bihar so that beneficiaries of various schemes could open accounts for direct transfer of money in their bank accounts.

He said post offices should have core banking facilities as most of the beneficiaries lived in rural areas, the Chief Minister told Ramesh.

Expansion of the arsenic-free drinking water project was also discussed during the hour-long meeting.

(Agencies)

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