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Chidambaram assures Bihar will qualify for special status

Patna, May 12 (): Hoping to grant special category status for Bihar, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who visited Bihar to take stock of the Nalanda University Project on Saturday, said that the Bihar would make the grade to be granted special status under new criteria for backwardness.

 While addressing a State-level bankers committee meeting on Saturday, Chidambaram   said that a team under the chairmanship of Chief Economic Adviser Raghuram Rajan would also be formed in a few days. The committee after developing new principle for backwardness would likely submit a report to the Centre within a month, after which the centre would decide on the new decisive factor to determine backwardness, said the Union Minister.

 In a statement Chidambaram said that once the government decides on the criteria and implements them, then states will be eligible to qualify under them. He assured Bihar will certainly qualify under the criteria and his promise regarding reviewing the criteria will also be soon implemented.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who had been making a demand for granting special status for Bihar to encourage its development process was also present in the meeting along with his party members. Mr. Chidambaram also promised to provide the state with necessary funds and manpower for the next decade.

While assuring the Vice-Chancellor and sub-committee members, Finance Minister said that the requirement of the University might be around 2,000 crores up to 10 years, which India can easily spend and promised that funds will be made available for building the Nalanda University.

He also insisted to include Nalanda in the list of UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) world heritage sites. He further claimed saying that, though Bihar has made considerable development, the need for greater access of banking operations is necessary.

Claiming that, Bihar has been progressing significantly, the government has set ambitious targets for the bankers for 2013-14 and will open 750 new branches in the state, said Chidambaram.