Bengal CM seeks waiver and restructuring of outstanding loan

Participating in the 11th Inter-state council meeting here, Mamata said the state has suffered revenue loss of approximately Rs 6,500 crore.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 16, 2016, 22:55 PM IST
Bengal CM seeks waiver and restructuring of outstanding loan

New Delhi: Highlighting the debt burden, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today sought formation of a committee headed by the Union Finance Minister to look into the issue of waiver and restructuring of the outstanding loan of the states.

Participating in the 11th Inter-state council meeting here, she said the state has suffered revenue loss of approximately Rs 6,500 crore since 2011-12 to 2015-16 which has not been compensated.

The chief minister also sought the release of Rs 2,330.01 crore under the special backward region grant fund (BRGF) and suggested that the Centre should share the additional burden of the states.

"There will be a spike in the debt servicing liabilities of the state from 2016-17. The situation will further deteriorate after implementation of the state's pay commission," she said at the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Referring to the past Left regime in the state, she said the condition of West Bengal is the worst due to legacy of huge debt left by the previous government.

"The Kerala-Punjab-West Bengal committee set up by the previous government at the Centre to look into the issue of debt restructuring of these three states was a non-starter from the very beginning and made no headway," she said.

On Aadhar issue she said the state government is of very strong view that linkage of Aadhar for all direct benefit transfer scheme by December 31, this year as mandated by the Centre should be dropped as considerable number of people are yet to get their Aadhar cards.

She said the state government has taken effective steps in combating left-wing extremism activities in the affected areas.

"Once killings, extortion, torture, kidnapping were regular features in these areas. But now situation has far improved," she said.

On education, she said the state supports the initiative of improving the quality of education but it will not support any move for pushing certain kind of ideologies and doctrines in the syllabus in the name of improvement of education.

On GST, the chief minister said the state has in-principle supported the introduction of Goods and Service Tax in the country. We are however, of the firm view that Centre should respect the operational autonomy of the states in fiscal matters and ensure that it is not curbed in any way.