Friday, May 12, 2017

Where is special Bihar package? JD(U) slams Centre, cites RTI reply

Indian Express: Patna: Friday, May 12, 2017.
Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) on Thursday called the Rs 1,25,000 special package announced for the state in August 2015 a “political stunt” saying that the NITI Aayog has no information about it. The party cited a reply from the Aayog’s financial resources division to a query under the Right to Information Act to activist Mohammed Iqbal Ansari on April 26 to question the authenticity of the package.
“It is to be stated that the financial resources division does not have any information requested in the application except the press release dated 18th August 2015 of Prime Minister’s Office on Prime Minister’s special package…,” a JD(U) press release quoted the RTI reply as saying.
JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar referred to the RTI reply and sought a clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on whether the special package for Bihar exists. He noted that an official press release was issued on the package and wondered why the NITI Aayog did not have any clue about it.
Another JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan added that the Prime Minister had discussed the Bihar package in his Man Ki Baat radio programme as well.
BJP leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi told The Indian Express that a special cell in the Prime Minister’s office has been monitoring the special package work in Bihar. He added that the departments concerned were submitting monthly work compliance reports over it. “It is not necessary for the NITI (Aayog) to have all these details. Ganga bridge (Patna) renovation, proposed Patna-Ara-Buxar road, Deendayal Jyoti Yojana are all parts of the Bihar package. The
fund is being released to every implementing agency in a phased manner,” he said.
The PM had announced the special package during the Bihar assembly election campaign.