Chief minister Nitish Kumar's demand for special status to Bihar has evoked positive response from the intelligentsia and captains of trade and industry.
Aryabhatt Knowledge University (AKU) vice chancellor, SN Guha said, Bihar needed additional resources to speed up its growth process, which has just started to take off. "To catch up with the national average or other developed state, we are striving hard. But it will take at least two decades at this pace, which is quite a long time. Special status can be the catalyst to add wings to our effort," he added.
Guha said, it was important for every Bihari to fight for their rights and also discharge their duties with honesty to take Bihar forward. "We also have to learn to be honest in discharging duties and stop shirking attitude, which will help us in making full use of our right when we get it," he said.
Economist Shaibal Gupta strongly pitched for special status, saying that the Centre had not taken cognizance of 200 years of development deficit in Bihar.
"It is unfortunate that Bihar lagged behind when the focus of economic growth shifted to west from east after 1920. The economic favours given to states were not guided by rules and regulations but they were essentially political decisions," he said.
Chandragupta Institute of Management, Patna director Dr Mukunda Das, said if any state deserved special status, it was Bihar. "This is the right time for it, the best time , when its march to progress has well and truly begun. Special status category will put the state on the express highway to development," he added.
Das said, Bihar was a fit case for it, as it fulfilled all the social and economic parameters. "Even in terms of millennium development goals, it is way behind other Indian states. It needs support, as it already has the intent to surge ahead," he added.
Bihar Industries Association president KPS Kesri said, Bihar failed to register its presence on the industrial map of the country due to the discriminatory policies of the successive governments at the centre.
"One of the major reasons was the freight equalization policy, which enabled other states to usher in industrial development, while Bihar suffered despite being rich in minerals resources," he said. Bihar Chamber of Commerce President OP Sah, said Bihar would be able to attract investments from big corporate houses only when it gets the special category status.
"The state will catch up with the national average growth rate only when the state gets full support from the Centre. Special status would allow concessions in central taxes besides other facilities and attract big corporate houses like Reliance, Tata, Mittal etc. to the state," he added.