Government on 31 July 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 in response to a supplementary question posed by Bihar MP Rajesh Ranjan.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been pressing for special category status to his state for a long time now. The demand has also been supported by JD-U, BJP and its ally LJP in the past.
In response to another question, Singh said if 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% grant) and special central assistance grants.
Assistance for externally-aided projects flows to special category states as 90% 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.
The Centre has ruled out granting special category status to Bihar for increased central assistance.