Bihar constrained by low per capita income, needs special status: Nitish
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday told the assembly that his government felt hamstrung when it came to hiking the amount paid to beneficiaries of welfare schemes, a reason why he has been pressing for the special category status.
Kumar also insisted that the state's per capita income was "significantly lower" than the national average.
"You talk about Haryana and Tamil Nadu. While comparing the amount paid (to beneficiaries of social welfare schemes) there, please also look at their per capita income vis--vis ours.
"As a matter of fact, Bihar's per capita income stands at less than Rs 40,000, which is significantly lower than the national average. This is the primary reason why we seek special status," Kumar said, while responding to a calling attention motion introduced by a host of opposition leaders, including veteran RJD MLA Abdul Bari Siddiqui.
The motion had sought to draw the government's attention towards the fact that the amount paid under welfare schemes in Bihar was far less than that doled out by the states of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
For a pension scheme, the amount paid to beneficiaries in the state stood at Rs 400 per month, while in Tamil Nadu and Telangana it was Rs 1000, in Haryana it was Rs 1800 and in Andhra Pradesh Rs 2000, it said.
Demand for special status for Bihar arose with the creation of Jharkhand in 2000, which deprived the state of its mineral-rich, relatively more industrialized and urbanized southern districts.