CM rejects Centre's conditions on FRBM limit, borrowing space
Kolkata: Questioning the Centre's conditions on state government for increasing borrowing space, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday rejected the same stating that it is better to keep fighting by maintaining dignity instead of following the directives that is affecting the federal structure of the country.
"It is another big zero. There was Press conference for the past four days and it continued for long hours. But there were four different statements on four consecutive days," Banerjee said adding that they have announced increase in the FRBM limit from 3 per cent to 5 per cent of the GSDP to facilitate increased borrowings by the states. Actually it is only an increase of 0.5 per cent as to avail the remaining 1.5 per cent states have to follow their conditions that is "One Nation, One Ration", hike in urban local body revenues, power distribution, etc. "If we agree to follow the conditions to get 1.5 per cent more, then the federal structure is getting affected. I feel instead of accepting such humiliating proposals it is best to fight with head held high," she said quoting Rabindranath Tagore "Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high".
Stating imposition of such condition is unnecessary interference into the functioning of the state governments in such crucial time, Banerjee said: "Many states have imposed cess on petrol. But we didn't. Many states have even deducted salaries of their employees including some states those are being ruled by those who are busy in tall talks. Even Dearness Allowances were freezed. We have not taken any such anti-people moves. In such a situation if they say that they will take control over our power sector, to increase urban taxes or to give control on public distribution system. I would like to say sorry. We don't want your money." She further attacked the Centre for not giving any financial support to fight against COVID-19. When asked about Centre's delay in releasing fund for Bulbul with another major cyclone at the threshold, Banerjee said that they are asking to use disaster management fund for other purposes.
In connection with Centre's team being sent to Bengal, Banerjee said: "Sometimes we need to wait and watch. Raising allegation against Bengal has now become a routine matter. I am expressing solidarity to all states. So the Centre must also show solidarity to Bengal."