The union government on Friday ruled out granting special category status to Bihar for increased central assistance, though there was a proposal to provide the state a special package.
"There is no proposal as of now to grant special status to any state. There is a proposal to give special package," Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh said in Lok Sabha during question. He was replying to a supplementary question posed by Bihar MP Rajesh Ranjan.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been pressing for granting special category status to Bihar for a long time.
The demand has also been supported by the Janata Dal-United, Bharatiya Janata Party and its ally Lok Janshakti Party in the past.
Replying to another question, Singh said if the Rajasthan government sends a proposal to provide special package, the central government may consider it.
Special category states are provided special plan assistance for projects (90 per cent grant) and special central assistance grants.
Assistance for externally-aided projects flows to special category states as 90 per cent grant whereas for general category states, it flows as back-to-back loans, he said.
"Special packages for different sectors have been sought by some states in past. In 2015-16, Bihar and Odisha have sought special packages for their overall socio-economic development for different sectors," he said.