Patna: The people of Bihar have pinned their hopes on Union Finance minister P Chidambaram for consideration of their demand for special status, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Friday. Kumar said that the Union minister was recently quoted as saying that the Centre would explore what it could do to help the states lagging behind the average national development ratio.
Stating that the state government had provided to the Centre the documents, highlighting the economic backwardness of Bihar, the Chief Minister said that he and the people would remained glued to Chidambaram's budget speech on what came Bihar's way on February 28. "We want economic development not only for our own good, but we also desire to contribute to overall growth story of the country," he said at a seminar on 'Development Challenges of Exclusion and Strategies for Inclusive Growth'.
The Centre's additional incentives, including special status, could push the state's contribution to the national GDP to 10 per cent from 2.8 per cent at present, he said. "It is because of lop-sided nature of development with thrust on only a few developed states that the growth rate has been fluctuating between eight to five per cent," he said and asked the Centre to broadbase economic development with incentives for under-developed and backward states to sustain the growth rate at eight per cent or above.
"The Centre should consider measures under which the backward states like Bihar too can contribute in overall economic development of the country in a meaningful way and help sustain the high growth rate recorded in recent years," he added.