Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said he was “opening the package” of Rs 1.25 lakh crore announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi five days ago, and will make public its reality in a few days.
“We are opening the 1.25 lakh crore package. We are working on the projects re-packaged in it. We will make public its reality,” Kumar said while starting development projects worth Rs 19,500 crore in the state at a ceremony here.
“We will evaluate everything in the package and place them before you in the coming days. We will also see what happened to all our proposals submitted to the Central government regarding the needs for the state,” Kumar added.
Modi had announced the whopping package for Bihar at the foundation stone laying function for national highway projects at Ara in Bhojpur district ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.
The Bihar Chief Minister lambasted the Centre for not upholding the tradition of ‘cooperative federalism’ by way of taking suggestions or consulting the states.
“We never received any replies for all our proposals that we submitted to the Centre after meeting and consulting all political parties, barring one which did not come. If this is the kind of cooperative federalism you (Centre) practise, we have nothing to say,” he said.
On the industrial development in the state, Kumar reiterated the demand for special category status for Bihar and said ‘big ticket’ investments will come only after it is provided.
“We need complete tax holiday to attract investment. Giving a little here and there will not have any affect. Investors will come when full relief from taxes are given for a certain period and this can happen only if special category status is given,” he added.
Kumar argued that he wanted Bihar not just to become an “investment destination, but also employment destination”.
He talked about his dream that the young generation does not have to leave the state in search of employment.
Taking potshots at BJP and Central government for reacting to him for calling ‘a spade a spade’, the Chief Minister said, “They (BJP and Centre) are not used to getting replies on their work and statements. But now we are giving them back and they are getting irritated.”
Kumar said seven Union Ministers and a dozen former state ministers, who had worked with him earlier, kept snapping at whatever he spoke, and his every statement evoked at least 12 to 14 comments from the opposition BJP.