Bihar parties to draft joint memo for Finance panel

PATNA: Despite their acrimonious relationship, representatives of all the political parties in Bihar will meet on November 16 to discuss the draft memorandum of the state’s demands to be jointly submitted to the 14th Finance Commission headed by Dr Y V Reddy, a former RBI governor, early next year.

The meeting will be coordinated by the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) which is likely to draft the memorandum. The Finance Commission members are expected to visit Bihar in January, ADRI sources said. The commission will submit its report to the Centre by October 31, 2014. It will cover the period from April, 2015 to March, 2020.

This time, sources said, the memorandum will broadly cover five chapters, including transfer of central taxes and duties as well as grants-in-aid through the Finance Commission, present status of Bihar, its backwardness and disadvantages as well as the suggestions.

The 14th commission is expected to strictly adopt the equalization principle to narrow the disparities among the states. Bihar’s share in total tax devolution progressively declined over the award period of successive finance commissions. But, this time, more emphasis is expected to be given to equality, sources said.

Apart from the JD(U), BJP, RJD, Congress, CPI, CPM, LJP and other political parties, academic organizations like Chandragupta Institute of Management, Patna, L N Mishra Institute of Economic Development and Social Change and department of economics, Patna University, besides the CII, PHD Chamber of Commerce, Bihar Industries Association and Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries are also likely to attend the brainstorming meet.

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