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Home / Politics / Policy /  Goa, Kerala ‘relatively developed’, Gujarat ‘less developed’: Rajan panel

New Delhi: Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are the least developed (or the most backward) in that order, according to a government committee whose recommendations, if accepted, will mean a larger share of central funds for these states.

Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are India’s most developed states, according to the report of the Raghuram Rajancommittee that looked into the backwardness of states.

The committee arrived at this conclusion by creating an index that used measures such as per capita consumption and poverty ratio.

The index ranges from 0 to 1 with 1 being the most backward and 0 the least backwardm or the “relatively developed", according to the committee.

The other states in the “relatively developed" list include Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Haryana.

Interestingly, Gujarat, whose chief minister Narendra Modihas made the “Gujarat model" one of the talking points of his run to be India’s next Prime Minister, figures in the list of less developed states. Indeed, it is ranked 12 in terms of development.

Finance minister P. Chidambaram had set up a committee under Rajan, then chief economic adviser in the finance ministry and presently Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, to examine the backwardness criterion, in a move that was attributed to the Congress party-led government’s attempt to woo Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

The Bihar government has been asking that it be classified as a backward state so that it could get access to more central funds.

The committee has proposed a general method for allocating funds from the Centre to the states based on both a state’s development needs as well as its development performance, Chidambaram said in a statement.

As per the committee’s calculations, Bihar should get 12.04% of the total funds allocated for states by the centre, as against its current share of 7.42% under the total central assistance to state plans and centrally sponsored schemes. Rajasthan should get 8.42% as against 4.79% at present, Odisha 6.53% as against 4.62% amd Madhya Pradesh 9.56% as against 6.91%.

Uttar Pradesh will continue corner the largest share of central assistance at 16.41% of total funds, as against 10.09% earlier.

The committee has proposed a general method for allocating funds from the Centre to the states based on both a state’s development needs as well as its development performance, Chidambaram said in a statement.

States that score 0.6 and above on the Index may be classified as least developed, states that score between 0.4 and 0.6 may be classified as less developed, and states that score below 0.4 may be classified as relatively developed, according to the recommendations of the committee.

The committee has asked that each state be allocated 0.3% of the overall funds. An amount will be added to this share depending on the need and performance of each state to arrive at the state’s overall share.

According to the committee, the fixed allocation and classification based on the index will adequately address the demand of funds from states.

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