March 3, 2015
Special Assistance to Bengal a ‘bluff’: Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee on Monday dismissed as a “bluff” the special assistance proposed by the Central Government for West Bengal and demanded the Centre stop taking away funds towards repayment of loans.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed assistance for Bihar and West Bengal in the 2015 Union Budget.
“Developmental projects need money. Money is being taken away by the Central Government. We are not asking the Centre to give money, we are asking to stop taking away money from us,” Ms Banerjee said after inaugurating a state-run burial ground at Topsia in East Kolkata.
“The so called ‘package’ is a bluff. We used to get 61.8 percent. That is being raised to 62 percent,” the West Bengal Chief Minister said.
State Finance Minister Dr Amit Mitra had earlier said the total grant to Bengal in 2014 was Rs 4,05,582 Crore and in 2015, it is Rs 3,28,277 Crore, a reduction of 20 percent.
“The truth is, if all the grants are calculated together, in 2014, 61.88 percent was given, in 2015, the share is 62 percent,” Dr Mitra had said on Saturday.