Kolkata: Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday exerted pressure on the Congress-led UPA government at the centre by demanding an interest moratorium for her cash-strapped state.
According to reports, the Trinamool chief is seeking an interest moratorium for a period of three years.
Interestingly, senior Trinamool Congress MPs are expected to meet Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee over the issue of interest freeze later today.
Mamata Banerjee had earlier given a 15-day ultimatum to the central government to take a decision in this regard and warned that its "indifferent attitude" could become a "big issue".
"We have not enough income to pay the interest for the debt burden bequeathed by the erstwhile (Left Front) government. We are repeatedly urging (the central government) that we do not need its mercy, but that it should provide us at least a three-year interest moratorium. They should give us the moratorium as we are unable to pay it," Banejee told reporters during a programme here.
She also took a dig at the centre for deducting Rs15 billion from the state`s share of Central Sales Tax (CST) compensation.
"I will certainly not tolerate it," the Chief Minister warned and gave the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government 15 days to decide on the interest freeze for three years.
Banerjee has also been insisting that since the new government has inherited this huge quantum of debt burden, the central government should find a way to waive these loans or settle the debt.
The Trinamool Congress with 19 members in the Lok Sabha and 6 members in the Rajya Sabha is the second largest constituent of the ruling UPA II.
Currently, the relationship between the Congress and the Trinamool is going through a rough patch after the Trinamool openly opposed various policies of the central government.