Patna, Aug. 6: Raghuram Rajan’s appointment as Reserve Bank of India governor is unlikely to deter the special committee he heads from submitting its report suggesting fresh parameters to decide backwardness of states.
The Centre had constituted the six-member special committee on May 15 to revisit the criteria for deciding backwardness of states in response to chief minister Nitish Kumar’s protracted demand for special category status to Bihar and similar demands from other states like Chhattisgarh, Goa, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha. The panel was supposed to submit its report by July 15.
“Though the committee has crossed its deadline, it is all set to submit its report by the middle of August,” a source in the committee said, adding, “Rajan will take over as RBI governor on September 4 when his predecessor D. Subbarao completes his term”.
Sources said Rajan was himself keen to finish the task at hand before taking over his new, more challenging assignment. Committee members have already held five sessions and were in the stage of “fine-tuning” their recommendations that in all likelihood would be submitted around Independence Day.
The report will be politically significant in the context of Bihar where chief minister Nitish Kumar has split with the BJP and expects the Congress-led Centre to “reward” him for dumping the saffron outfit — the Congress’ prime rival at the national level.
In fact, it was in Nitish Kumar’s presence here on May 11 that Union finance minister P. Chidambaram announced setting up of the Raghuram Rajan committee.
Nitish, say sources, is extremely “hopeful” the Centre would honour his demand for special status in the wake of growing proximity between the JD(U) and Congress after the JD(U)-BJP split. The Bihar chief minister has already announced support to the Centre on the food security bill.
Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) member secretary Saibal Gupta, considered close to Nitish, is on the Rajan Committee. Other members include Indian Statistical Institute professor Bharat Ramaswami, Jamia Millia Islamia vice-chancellor Najeeb Jung, professor at the centre for study of law and governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University Niraja Gopal Jayal, planning commission adviser Tuhin Pandey.