Patna, July 14: The state’s anxious wait for the revised backwardness indicators would be prolonged because the special committee constituted by the Centre to suggest the parameters would take at least six more weeks to submit its report.
The six-member committee, headed by chief economic adviser in the finance ministry Raghuram Rajan, would take more than the stipulated time of two months for finalising its report. “We will take at least six more weeks before finalising our recommendations,” a source in the committee told The Telegraph.
The committee, having Indian Statistical Institute professor Bharat Ramaswami, Jamia Millia Islamia vice-chancellor Najeeb Jung, professor at the centre for the study of law and governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University Niraja Gopal Jayal, Planning Commission advisor Tuhin Pandey and Asian Development Research Institute member-secretary Shaibal Gupta as its members, was set up by the Union finance ministry on May 15. It was asked to submit its report by July 15.
Giving reasons for the delay, another source closely associated with the functioning of the committee said: “The panel has been given a very important task and so it wants to be doubly sure about the variables to be taken into account for deciding the backwardness of states. As this task demands exhaustive homework, the committee would need some more time to complete the work in the desired manner.”
The source said a lot of permutations and combinations were involved in determining the criteria to identify a state as backward. Things like background variable, which would give an idea about the past of a state, outcome variable, which would indicate the outcome of various development works taken up in a given state, and many more were discussed in meetings for reaching a consensus on variables that should be taken into account while calculating the present position of a given state. The work does not end here, said the source. “Followed by the finalisation of variables, a composite index would have to be developed. The development of states would be measured on its basis and their ranking would be decided.”
The source said a broad consensus on such issues had been arrived at in the four meetings of the committee held so far. Some kind of finalisation on the variable issues is expected in the next meeting of the panel, scheduled for July 24. Reacting to the “delay” in the report submission, state energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav said: “It is unfortunate that the committee has not been able to finalise the modalities till now. We just hope the Centre would act quickly once it gets the committee’s report and accept our long pending demand for according special status to Bihar.”
Union finance minister P. Chidambaram had hinted at setting of a special committee to take a fresh look into the backwardness of states in the country during his visit to Bihar on May 11. Four days on, the committee came into being.
Union finance ministry
constituted a six-member committee to look into backwardness of states on
July 15. Panel asked to submit its report in two months
Committee members have so far met four times to discuss modalities on the basis of which backwardness of states would be decided
Committee likely to take at least six more weeks to finalise its report
Committee’s report could chart the criteria based on which the Centre could
extend special help to
Bihar or look into the demand of the state for being accorded special status, which is not feasible under existing parameters