Saturday, May 23, 2009

Nitish renews demand for package

PATNA: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, pressing for special category status for the state, hoped that the new UPA government at the Centre
would sympathetically consider some of the long-standing demands.

“Even the Congress leaders from the state had supported the special category status case for Bihar. Now that the UPA government has been installed, the Congress should back our demand,” the chief minister said here on Friday.

He further said the Kosi relief package was also pending and it was high time the Centre took a call on it. “We had submitted a proposal with the Centre, seeking a Kosi relief package of Rs 14,808 crore for undertaking rehabilitation and reconstruction of the flood-ravaged region. The prime minister had even declared the Kosi devastation a national calamity after undertaking an aerial survey of flood-hit districts of the Kosi area. I only hope that the Centre doles out the package at the earliest,” he remarked.

Expecting a positive response from the Centre this time, the chief minister said, earlier, there were some Union ministers from Bihar who worked against state interest to negate the growing popularity of the NDA government in Bihar.

“Now that they are out, I only hope the new government will not face obstacles in meeting our genuine demands,” Mr Kumar said.

Raising the contentious sugar control order of the Centre which adversely impacted the flow of investment in the sector, Mr Kumar said the issue should be looked into so that there is a level playing field for potential investors who wanted to set up ethanol units in the state.

“The sugar control order has imposed restrictions on ethanol production. If the vexed order is withdrawn, Bihar will easily become the ethanol hub of the country,” Mr Kumar said.
Nitish Kumar also chose the opportunity to slam Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for demanding early elections in West Bengal.

“She has done well in the election but I don't think she has received the mandate for the removal of the Left government in West Bengal. I have never supported the demand for removal of democratically elected governments. It goes against the spirit of the Constitution. I opposed the demand of Mayawati when she sought removal of the Mulayam Singh government," he added.

Source : Economic Times