West Bengal seeks 3-year interest moratorium from Modi govt
‘I have urged the union finance minister for a clear indication in his forthcoming budget. I have also raised the issue of an accord on a three-year moratorium on the repayment in interest and principal amount. Due to the interest, development projects worth over Rs 3 lakh crore could not be taken up in Bengal,’ he added. So far, Rs 77,000 crore had been repaid to the Centre over the last three years after Trinamool Congress came to power in May 2011 in Bengal.
When asked how much optimistic he was about Jaitley meeting the state’s demand, Mitra said, ‘It was a consultation before the next budget and not a meeting of response.’ He alleged that the former prime minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister were told about the concerns but nothing had happened, which led to a debt of Rs 2.10 lakh crore in Bengal. ‘The most unfortunate fact is the Center didn’t even sanction Rs 9000 for their own schemes and projects for Bengal,’ he said.
While seeking full compensation to the state for the revenue loss of nearly Rs 3600 crore due to phase-out of Central Sales Tax (CST) he said, ‘States are suffering losses due after reduction in CST rate to 2 percent from 4 percent and should be compensated. If CST compensation issue is not resolved there would be difficulties in implementation of Goods Services Tax (GST). It is a time for the Centre to compensate us.’
The other demands raised by Mitra are: Additional Rs 1000 crore for Right to Food Security Act, Rs 2000 crore for 100-days’ work under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act, Rs 4000 for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Rs 650 crore for sanitation under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, Rs 500 crore for Indira Awas Yojna, Rs 2000 crore for health care etc.