Goa, Odisha, Rajasthan, Bihar and Jharkhand have demanded special category status from the central government for development, though in case of Goa, the demand has not been found feasible, the Parliament was informed today.
"The state governments of Goa, Odisha, Rajasthan, Bihar and Jharkhand have demanded special category status. In case of Goa, it has not been found feasible to accept this demand.
"The demands of other states are under examination in the Planning Commission," the Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar said in a reply to Lok Sabha.
To a question on whether there is any provision for special assistance to these states, the Minister said Plan assistance is provided to states through the central assistance for State Plan and Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS).
"The Union Government also provides assistance for Special Plan for Bihar under the state component of the Backward Regions Grand Fund," he said to a question on assistance to the state.
"An amount of Rs 8,495.08 crore has been released for Special Plan for Bihar up to March 31, 2012. In case of Odisha, funds are provided under Special Plan for KBK (Kalahandi, Balangir and Koraput) districts and an amount of Rs 1,850 crore has been released up to March 31, 2012," the minister said.
The special category status is granted by the National Development Council on the basis of certain criterion.
These include difficult geography, low population density, location with neighbouring countries, economic and infrastructural backwardness and non-viable nature of state finances.