Bihar will not have to return flood relief money, says Pranab | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Bihar will not have to return flood relief money, says Pranab

delhi Updated: Jul 10, 2009 16:36 IST

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Bihar government will not have to return Rs 1,000 crore given to it by the Centre as relief for Kosi flood victims, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

He made the announcement after JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav attacked the Centre for sending a missive to the state government that the amount given for last year's flood relief would have to be "recovered".

Yadav, while raising the issue during Zero Hour, cited a letter dated April 27, 2009 written to the Chief Secretary.

"This is injustice," the JD(U) leader, whose party is in power in Bihar, said adding that the Centre's move went against the declaration by Home Minister P Chidambaram that the Centre was not discriminating against any state.

Joined by other agitated JD(U) and BJD members, Yadav said the money was being recovered despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declaring Kosi floods as a national calamity.

Yadav said after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar spoke about it, the Prime Minister had called him to assure that the matter would be looked into, but nothing happened though two-three months have passed.

Responding to it, Mukherjee said the letter had been sent as part of a technical requirement. "But I am assuring (Bihar) that there is no question of returning or recovering the money... the government decided this keeping in view the magnitude of the tragedy," he said.