Bihar to seek special assistance at pre-union budget meet

Published on Nov 10, 2022 09:43 PM IST

State’s finance minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said Bihar government would strongly put forth the demand for special assistance to the state even as the state government continues to demand special category status to be accorded to Bihar.

Bihar finance minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary. (HT Photo)
Bihar finance minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary. (HT Photo)
By, Patna

The Bihar government will be demanding special assistance from the Centre and increase in allocations under central devolutions at the meeting convened by union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on November 25 in New Delhi to take suggestions from all states on the upcoming union budget for 2023-24 to be placed early next year.

State’s finance minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said Bihar government would strongly put forth the demand for special assistance to the state even as the state government continues to demand special category status to be accorded to Bihar.

“Bihar has been doing extremely well in all development parameters with limited resources despite being a poor and backward state. It has the rightful claim for special assistance from the Centre as the state is poor in natural resources and needs to carry on the development process by giving fillip to all sectors including infrastructure, health, education and other core sectors,” said Chaudhary.

The state FM and senior officers of the finance department would be attending the pre-budget meeting called by Sitharaman, officials said.

The state government would also raise the issue of lack of uniformity in the central share for centrally sponsored schemes ( CSS). “ In many centrally sponsored schemes, the central share is being reduced from 90% to 75% to even 60% putting a heavy load on the state. This is a key issue we would raise and urge the centre to maintain a more uniform approach by increasing its share in CSS,” said Chaudhary.

He said the state government would also demand that allocations of central devolutions in terms of state share in central taxes should be increased for next fiscal. In this fiscal, the state government has an estimate of getting 91,000 crore.

On November 7, the state FM had convened a meeting where heads of major departments were instructed to prepare a report on the status of how much funds had been disbursed by the Centre under centrally sponsored and how the delay in releasing instalments under CSS was impacting the implementation of schemes. The departments have been also told to give a detailed report about requirement of funds and projects expected by the state to be incorporated in the union budget, officials said.

Sources said the government may also raise the issue of pending arrears under MGNREGA over 2,000 crore in wages and construction material head as well as the demand for increasing mandays for the current fiscal.

Besides, the state FM said the Bihar government would also urge the union finance minister to extend the period of GST compensation to states for another five years. Officials said the period ( 2017-18 to 2021-22) for paying compensation to states for losses incurred following implementation of Goods and Services Tax( GST) ended on July 1 this year.

Many states have already urged the union finance minister to extend the period of compensation for losses under GST for another five years. “ We will be demanding the extension of GST compensation period for another five years at the pre-budget meeting ,” said Chaudhary.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A journalist for 21 years, Anirban covers RJD, legislature and government beats. Has extensive experience in covering elections and writes regularly on finance, land reforms, registration, excise and socio-economic issues.

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