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Centre woos Nitish with Rs 12,000 crore

Centre woos Nitish with Rs 12,000 crore
This bonanza comes in the backdrop of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar dropping broad hints that his party would side with such dispensation at the Centre which supports special status for the state.

Bihar garnered a total allocation of Rs 12,000 crore from the Centre under the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF), in continuance with the special plan for the state for the remaining four years i.e. 2013-14 to 2016-17 of the Twelfth Five Year Plan. The state will get Rs 3,000 crore a year for the next four years. This is double the amount allocated to the state by the Planning Commission last year.

The KBK districts (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) of Odisha have been allocated Rs 250 crores annually by the Cabinet for the remaining four years. Odisha is ruled by Naveen Patnaik of the Biju Janata Dal, another estranged partner of the BJP.

There is also the special package for implementing drought mitigation strategies in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The region in the remaining four years will get a total allocation of Rs 4,400 crore. The hefty package for Bundelkhand is understandable as Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has been eyeing the region for a long time for political returns.

The total allocation for the Twelfth Five Year Plan period for all the three programmes is Rs17,650 crore which includes the financial packages given to Bihar, KBK districts of Odisha and Bundelkhand, said a government statement. The district component of BRGF, for each of these states which was approved earlier for implementation till 2012-13, has now been restructured for the remaining four years (2013-14 to 2016-17) of the Twelfth Five Year Plan.

State governments will implement the programme which aims to improve socio-economic development in each of the states. The backward areas of the states covered under the state component of BRGF will be benefited. All the 38 districts of Bihar, 8 of the KBK region and 13 of the Bundelkhand region have been covered.
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