April 15, 2012
CM reiterates demand for moratorium on interest payment
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee has reiterated her demand for at least 3-year moratorium by the Centre on the interest payment on the huge loans taken by the previous government in the state.
''Our demand is that there should be a moratorium for at least 3 years on the interest payment by the present government for the huge loans taken by previous Left Front government'', Ms. Mamata Banerjee said in an article in Trinamool Congress' weekly organ Ma, Mati, Manush.
She said her government has to spend Rs22,000 crore per year as interest for the huge loans. ''If such a 3-year relief is sanctioned, we can spend Rs66,000 crore for mass welfare projects'', she said.
CM, who said that the Planning Commission had made a near 17% higher allocation for West Bengal, claimed that the commission's deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had justified the state's demand.
''But, he said that the Planning Commission has nothing to do in this regard. Centre can do the needful'', the Chief Minister added.
The Chief Minister said she had requested Ahluwalia that he could take up West Bengal's demand with the Prime Minister ''since he is a close friend of PM''.
CM said that she had handed over a suggestion for a deep sea port in the state to the planning commission.