Patna: Describing recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission as “regressive” for resource-hit states like Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today send a protest letter and sought special arrangements for the state against the expected loss. “I urge you to make special arrangements for expected loss to a poor state like Bihar after implementation of 14th Finance Commission recommendations to ensure increase in plan expenditure,” Kumar said in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Kumar, who had a brief interaction with the PM at the wedding of daughter of RJD President Lalu Prasad at Delhi last night, told reporters at Patna Airport that the occasion did not permit him to talk on such a sensitive matter with him. He, however, said he had a meeting with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last night in which he conveyed to him the anxiety of the state on account of expected “loss” accruing from 14th Finance Commission recommendations.
Kumar, in his letter dated February 26 but released today in the backdrop of PM’s letter to Chief Ministers on 14th Finance Commission report, said that the announcement of a jump of 10 per cent in the states’ share of central taxes prima facie appears “welcoming” but the issues highlighted in the PM’s letter reflects “it (10 per cent hike in tax share) is only compositional.”
The Bihar CM said that initial estimated showed that the state would face about 1.3 per cent point loss in share for the state in overall amount due to the 14th Finance Commission recommendations as compared to the 13th Finance Commission report.
“Under 13th Finance Commission report Bihar’s share in overall amount was 10.9 per cent which will go down to 9.6 per cent as per 14th Finance commission which means a decrease by 1.3 per cent,” Kumar said.
Kumar said the PM’s letter indicated that all additional benefits Bihar was getting by way of plan money as per the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula, BRGF (Backward Region Grant Fund) after bifurcation of Jharkhand from it and union government share in central schemes was being subsumed in the 10 per cent hike recommended in central taxes share. “This means a loss to Bihar,” he said.
Kumar two days ago had said that the state would move the apex court for ‘justice’ if Bihar was not compensated for the loss, among others, by ending fund under BRGF which was devised by a law made by Parliament under which the state was getting additional fund since 10th plan period.