Bihar babus to present state’s case
PATNA: A team of Bihar bureaucrats led by chief secretary Navin Kumar has left for Delhi to attend an important meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Group, set up by PM Manmohan Singh to study the state’s special category status demand, to be held on Monday.
The group had been formed in September last after a delegation of Bihar leaders earlier called on the PM with 1.25 crore signatures of Biharis in support of the demand.
According to official sources, the Inter-Ministerial Group headed by Planning Commission member-secretary Sudha Pillai will hold its first meeting with Bihar officials. Apart from the chief secretary, planning and development department’s principal secretary Vijoy Prakash, finance commissioner Rameshwar Singh and chief minister’s secretary Chanchal Kumar will represent Bihar at the meeting.
CM Nitish Kumar, who has made the special status demand a socio-political issue and raised it at different forums, held a meeting with these officials on Saturday and briefed them on how to make a forceful representation before the Group and which issues to raise.
The Inter-Ministerial Group has secretary in the department of expenditure, ministry of finance, Sumit Bose as its member. The group was constituted on September 9 and was given three months’ time to submit its report. However, nothing much happened and the group was given extension in December.
“This is the first time that state officials have been invited by the Group,” said an official, who added that the chief secretary left for Delhi on Saturday evening after a detailed discussion with the CM. The other three bureaucrats left on Sunday.
The terms of reference of the Group cover considering and examining all the issues raised in a memorandum submitted to the PM by a delegation of JD (U) leaders on July 14 last. The memorandum was supported by 1.25 crore signatures.
The decision about the formation of the Group had been revealed in answer to an unstarred question by N K Singh of the JD (U) in Rajya Sabha in August last. Minister of state for planning Ashwani Kumar had told the House that an Inter-Ministerial Group would study the demand.