Patna: Former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi on Friday defended the Centre for not including any Bihar city in the first list of 20 cities to be developed as Smart City.
Reacting to CM Nitish Kumar’s meeting with Union urban development minister
M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday to register the state government’s concerns over the exclusion of Bihar cities from the first list, Modi said even the cities of few BJP-ruled states were not included in the list. “No city from Bihar was included in the first list because the state government’s proposal to the Centre was not in consonance with the defined parameters. The proposal did not fulfil the conditions,” Modi said.
The three Bihar cities which were in the race and awaited inclusion in the category of Smart City are Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur and Biharsharif. Modi also took exception to recent imposition of taxes on certain items by the state government. “Taxes have been increased on as many as 600 items,” Modi said.
Modi said the impact of the surcharge on petrol and diesel imposed recently by the state government would be reflected in terms of increase in the prices of petrol and diesel by oil companies. “The oil companies will not pay to the state government from their share of profit. The surcharge would be passed on to the consumers,” Modi said, adding the oil companies could hike the prices of petrol and diesel in the state soon, maybe from the next month itself.
The BJP and its three other NDA partners are busy mobilising people on the issues of non-payment of scholarships to SC students, tardy paddy procurement from farmers, deterioration in crime and to press for increase in the reservation quota for SCs and EBCs in the upcoming panchayat election.