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Funds appeal for road, agro

Patna, Jan. 7: The state government demanded Rs 63,633.48 crore from the 14th Finance Commission in state-specific priority areas.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar, along with his cabinet colleagues and department officials, on Tuesday had a meeting with 14th Finance Commission chairman and former RBI governor Y.B. Reddy. The funds demanded in priority sector include agriculture road map, Manav Vikas mission and governance reforms.

In agriculture road map, the Bihar government has demanded Rs 8,370.44 crore in power sector. For rural connectivity by roads the state has demanded Rs 26,535.60 crore. In the Manav Vikas mission for secondary education Rs 6,102 crore has been demanded.

Rameshwar Singh, the principal secretary of the finance department, said: “Putting the demand of Rs 6,102 crore for secondary education, the chief minister stated that the government has decided to set up a higher secondary school in the 8,406 gram panchayats in four years.”

“Apart from the existing high schools, the state needs to set up over 4,500 new higher secondary schools. With an estimated cost of each schools coming to Rs 1.15 crore, the total requirement is Rs 6,102.48 crore in the next four years,” Singh added.

The state, to provide single connectivity of all-weather roads to the habitations having population up to 250, has launched a scheme called Mukhyamantri Gram Sampark Yojana. It has proposed the construction of 37,908km rural roads providing connectivity to 32,199 habitations in five years and for this Rs 26,535.60 crore would be spent in the next five years.

From the finance commission, the delegation members were Abhijit Sen, member, Planning Commission, Sushma Nath former Union finance secretary, M. Govinda Rao, the director of National Institute for Public Finance and Policy and Sudipto Mundle, the former acting chairman of National Statistical Commission.