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Mamata slams Centre for abolishing Plan panel

Mamata slams Centre for abolishing Plan panel
A day after skipping the first meeting of NITI Aayog, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today slammed the Centre for abolishing the Planning Commission and said "everything is hazy like a fog" on development plans and how funds would be disbursed to states.

Speaking at a state government programme here, she demanded that states must have power of taxation and threatened to lead a protest in New Delhi if the Centre did not restructure the debts incurred by West Bengal under Left Front rule.

"The Centre abolished the Planning Commission. We oppose that. Netaji (Subhas Chandra Bose) conceptualised the Planning Commission. It was Netaji's dream. We will not accept the humiliation of Netaji. Those who humiliate Netaji, how can they can think that they will get me on board on that issue?" Banerjee asked.

Referring to the new body, she said, "They (Centre) are talking of ensuring development. I do not see consistency in that. Everything is hazy like a fog. We have to see from where the funds come and how the states will get money, how work will be done and where development will happen.

"We had opposed it (NITI Aayog) and had given several suggestions, but not a single one was accepted," she said.

West Bengal skipped the first meeting yesterday of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by a host of Chief Ministers and representatives from most of the states and Union Territories.

Stepping up her attack, Banerjee said the Centre was realising Rs 40,000 crore annually on account of various taxes, including Income Tax, Excise and Customs duties, from the state, but Rs 28,000 crore was being taken away in the form of debts and interest repayment on central loans.
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