| Chief minister Nitish Kumar receives a memento from former Chhattisgarh and Tripura Governor DN Sahay in Patna on Friday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said “lack of intention and will (irada aur ichhashakti)” of the Planning Commission has widened the gap between states, the rich and poor and created India and Bharat.
“On the basis of seven years of experience in the government, I can say that there is a lack of will in the Planning Commission to get things on track or take corrective measures. Instead, it (commission) sends a routine reply to the queries or problems pointed out by the state government,” Nitish said on Friday.
He was addressing the inaugural session of a national seminar on “Development challenges of exclusion and strategies for inclusive growth” organised by AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies. The education department sponsored the seminar.
Nitish said the Planning Commission’s focus for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan was the same as the earlier plan — inclusive growth — only with words such as “faster, more sustainable, more inclusive growth” being added. He wondered how the Centre planned to bridge the gap between developed and developing states with a change in phraseology.
The gap between the developing and developed states took Nitish back to Bihar’s demand for special category. “The Centre should formulate new criteria for giving special category status to states which have been laggards. Per capita income, availability of infrastructure per lakh population, per capita power consumption, human resources are some of the factors that could be taken into consideration while formulating a new formula for according states special category status,” he said.
The chief minister asked the institute director, D.M. Diwakar, to organise a seminar in New Delhi to highlight the cause of the developing states.