New Delhi(Agencies): For seeking the Centre's cooperation in his development efforts, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and raised the problem of drought in the state.

In a seventeen point memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, Kumar sought special category status for Bihar, more funds for the state, coal linkage to power projects and expeditious setting up of Nalanda International University.

Kumar also demanded re-imbursement of a sum of Rs 970 crore spent by the state government over maintenance of national highways.

In a letter to Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Kumar thanked him for the additional allotment of Rs 1000 crore under the Bihar Special Plan for

Nitish Kumar, who came here to attend the Chief Ministers' Conference on internal security yesterday, will also meet Finance Minister Pranab Mukheree and Nepal President Ram Baran
Yadav tomorrow.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Kumar also asked for Presidential assent to the Bihar Sugarcane (Purchase and Supply) Regulation Act 1981 and withdrawing the Sugarcane
(Control) Order permitting only existing sugar factories to provide ethanol directly from sugar cane juice.

He sought "favourable consideration" of the Centre on these issues and urged the Prime Minister to consider constituting a Special Task Force under the latter's Principal Secretary to monitor implementation and keep him informed on the progress on these

Seeking central assistance for drought, Kumar said only a sum of Rs 341.08 crore has been released to the state of Rs 1459.54 crore sanctioned against the demand of Rs 6573.45 crore sought by the state and requested him to sanction and release the remaining funds immediately.

He also invited the Prime Minister to visit Bihar.

Addressing media persons here, the Chief Minister said that the Centre's non cooperation on coal linkage and ethanol issue is preventing major investments from coming to the state.

In a separate letter addressed to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Kumar reiterated the demand for declaring Bihar a special category state and expressed concern over "dwindling share of Bihar in the 13th Finance Commission grants".