April 1, 2020
Bangla CM writes to PM, demanding immediate payment of due Rs 25,000 cr
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to the prime minister on Wednesday, April 1 seeking financial help of Rs 25,000 crore to fulfil the State Government’s commitments towards providing free ration to people and continuing other welfare schemes.
In the letter, she stated that the State Government was in a “dire situation with practically no revenue flows after the closure of almost all business”.
She continued, “Despite this, we have somehow been able to pay the salaries, wages and pensions of government employees this month though some major states of the country could not do that on full. And even with the massive debt trap left behind by the previous government, we were able to service the debt so far, but future remains uncertain”.
“Furthermore”, she stated, “we are required to meet our commitments towards girl child, students, farmers, unorganised workers, weaker sections, minorities, SC, ST and OBCs. We are also having to honour our commitments of providing free ration to almost 9 crore people, who need this so crucially to survive in this perilous time”.
Against this background, she urged the prime minister “to sanction a grant of a minimum of Rs 25,000 crore for the state of West Bengal”.
She also reminded him to “release the funds still due to us from GoI (government of India), as per my earlier letter to you”, mentioning the Rs 11,000 crore under the devolution of central taxes and the Rs 36,000 crore under various schemes that were still pending.
She also demanded relaxations on the debt as suggested by the State Finance Minister, Dr Amit Mitra earlier due to the rapidly deteriorating economic situation.