Monday, 30th October 2017

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  • Published 17.08.00
New Delhi, Aug. 17 :     Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi today quoted a fresh price for the carving out of Jharkhand. In a meeting with Planning Commission deputy chairman K.C. Pant, she made it clear that Bihar will not settle for anything less than grant of a special status and a Central loan waiver. Rabri Devi had earlier demanded more than Rs 1,75,000 crore as compensation for the loss of revenue and resources. If the new demand for a loan write-off is added to the bill, it would take the figure to over Rs 2 lakh-crore. She also demanded setting up of a new Central power plant in north Bihar to compensate for the plants being given away to Jharkhand and a special package for development of infrastructure, irrigation and water resources in the poverty-ridden state. Pant, who heads the Central panel looking into the economic fallout of the break-up and the compensation package, did not promise anything at the meeting. The government plans to hold a core group meet on the issue tomorrow. It is difficult for the Centre to agree to most of Rabri Devi's demands, given the astronomical figures being quoted. However, it is working out some form of compensation, of which loan waivers will form a part, officials said. Today's meeting was called to fix Bihar's annual plan size and Central assistance for the current fiscal. Though the meeting pegged the plan size at Rs 3,100 crore, the decision remained inconclusive. It is yet to be worked out how the amount will be divided between Bihar and Jharkhand, once it is carved out. Officials said "a political decision which would be taken later".