Patna: Union Finance
Minister P. Chidambaram Saturday said that Bihar will be accorded
special category status after the change of criteria.
"I hope that new criteria will determine status of backward
states. Bihar will certainly qualify for special category status
under new criteria for it," said Chidambaram.
"The central government is reviewing the new criteria for special
category status to backward states like Bihar," he told media
persons here, adding a sub committee has been set up to study it
and its report expected soon.
According to state government officials, Bihar does not meet the
existing criteria to be granted special category status.
Nitish Kumar, who has been long demanding special category status,
had welcomed Chidambaram's February statement of the need for a
re-look into demand for such status to Bihar and other backward
In March, Nitish Kumar held a rally at Delhi's Ramlila ground to
put pressure on the central government for granting a special
category status to Bihar.
Chidambaram, who arrived here Saturday morning, later left for
Rajgir in Nalanda district, about 100 km from here, along with
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to visit the site of the upcoming
Chidambaram, who also attended a meeting of the state level
bankers' committee at Rajgir, said that banks would made more
active to increase credit deposit ratio and increased credit flow
in agriculture and priority sector, said a state government
official present at the meeting.
He also assured Nitish Kumar that he will direct public sector
banks to increase their branches from panchayat to district
"Chidambaram promised Nitish Kumar to look into demands of the
state government to open bank's branches in rural areas and to
provide more education loan to students," the official said.
Before the meeting, the finance minister visited the site of the
ancient Nalanda university, as well as the site of the upcoming
Nalanda University tp review progress of work.
Chidambaram held a meeting with the sub-committee of the
university and asked them to speed up the work, an official told
The university is set to begin academic activities from 2013-14.
The process for selection of faculty for two courses has started.
The university will be fully residential, like the ancient Nalanda
university. It will offer courses in science, philosophy and
spiritualism along with social sciences.