Left`s return would harm Bengal, Kerala: Pranab

They have been an abject failure on several counts of managing the state finances, Pranab said.

Last Updated: Apr 10, 2011, 17:40 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Accusing the CPI(M)-led
governments of mismanaging finances in West Bengal and Kerala,
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said bringing
the Left back to power would further harm interests of these
states.

"They have been an abject failure on several counts of
managing the state finances. Now they are seeking continuity
in both the states. Bringing them back to power would only
harm these states," Mukherjee told a press meet here.

Reeling out statistics of the last few years, he said the
track record of Kerala and West Bengal had been quite dismal
as far as crucial parameters like debt-DGP ratio and
utilisation of plan funds were concerned.

There was no basis to their grievance that they had been
neglected by the Centre as the quantum of funds given to them
through the 13th Finance Commission had almost doubled
from what was awarded by the previous Finance Commission, he
said.

The two states also failed to realise the plan size
approved by them over these years, he said.

The implications of the under-performance of externally
aided projects were far more serious since the country had
been paying interest on funds channelled from foreign sources
without getting the intended benefits, Mukherjee said.

The figures clearly indicated that the Left`s continuance
in governance would only perpetuate "backwardness,
indebtedness and under development", he said.

The Left could not claim that they lacked administrative
experience as they had often been in power in these states.

On the Left`s accusation that UPA government was dragging
its feet over tracking and unearthing black money, he said
as he had explained earlier there were two sides to the issue.

As far as black money remaining within the country was
concerned, the Income Tax Department had been conducting raids
and unearthing them. But in the case of black money stashed
away in foreign banks, the government had certain legal
limitations in reaching them, he said.

On Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan`s allegation
that black money stashed abroad included those of UDF leaders,
Mukherjee said "such fantastic charges" are some times made
during the election time.

PTI