Sunday, April 19, 2009

UPA govt unfair to Bihar, says MP

PATNA: JD(U)'s Rajya Sabha member and former state planning board chairman N K Singh on Saturday said the UPA is playing "politics of money" as
part of its campaigning for the parliamentary poll but, in the process, distorting facts about Central aids to Bihar.

"Facts speak otherwise," Singh said and cited several examples of how the Centre indulged in stepmotherly treatment to the state. He said as per the Finance Commission recommendation, Bihar should get 30.5% of all divisible taxes. "But the Bihar government's share never exceeded 26%," he added.

He said the selection of three average years for expenditure outlay fixed as per the formula of 12th Finance Commission is also unfair to Bihar in that there were hardly any expenditure due to political uncertainty and President's rule in Bihar during one of the chosen three years. The UPA government turned down the state request that a different set of years be used and debt relief be not denied to it. The UPA government at the Centre also turned down the state government request to treat it as a special category state, he said.

Singh said that loans for Bihar were brought to zero and the grants remained lower than even Assam. Thus, the state suffered both on the loan and the grant components of Central assistance throughout the period from 2002-03 to 2006-07.

He charged the UPA government with favouring only its partners and ignoring others. Bengal Chemical and Fertilizers, a public sector undertaking, was bailed out through a Rs 207-crore revival package to West Bengal. The Hindustan Photo Films and Neyvelli Lignite Corporation of Tamil Nadu was also given similar treatment. But the UPA government did nothing to revive the small and medium enterprises of Bihar simply because it has an NDA government, he said.

This apart, Singh said, the Centre has also not responded to the state's request for a special package each for the floods in 2007 and 2008.

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