For more than a decade, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) have been boasting about high growth and development in the state. However, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan believes otherwise. The report he prepared as part of Raghuram Rajan panel while working as the Chief Economic Advisor, has rated Odisha, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh as the least developed states of India.
On the ‘Multi Dimensional Index (MDI)’ score, Odisha has been rated as the least developed state, followed by Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. On the other hand, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Haryana have been rated as the most developed states. Gujarat is ranked 12th most developed state in India.
The panel was set up amid demand for “special category’ status by Bihar and Odisha. Rajan has suggested to split all 28 states into three categories – least developed, less developed and relatively developed — depending upon their MDI scores and allocate the funds on that basis. Each state can have a basic fixed allocation and an additional allocation depending on other factors. So, there will be no ‘special category status’ for any state if these recommendations are approved, but they will still get huge benefits and funds.