The government on Friday said no decision has been taken on granting special package to Bihar and Odisha, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the package was ready.
“There is no proposal as of now to grant special status to any state. There is a proposal to give special package,” minister of state for planning, Rao Inderjit Singh said in Lok Sabha.
He was replying to a supplementary question posed by Bihar MP Rajesh Ranjan.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has been pressing for granting special category status to Bihar for a long time and had made it an election issue. The day PM launched BJP’s election campaign in Bihar, Kumar had again demanded a special package.
Replying to another question, Singh said if Rajasthan government sends a proposal to provide special package, the Centre may consider it.
Special category states are provided special plan assistance for projects (90% grant) and special central assistance grants. Assistance for externally-aided projects flows to special category states as 90% grant whereas for general category states, it flows as back-to-back loans, he said.
“Special packages for different sectors have been sought by some states in past. In 2015-16, Bihar and Odisha have sought special packages for their overall socio-economic development for different sectors. But no decision has been taken,” he said.