Kolkata: Expressing "deep shock" and "anguish" over the Raghuram Rajan Committee recommending end of "special category" criteria for providing additional assistance to poorer states, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday accused the central government of discriminating against her state.
"I am deeply shocked and anguished by the outright and discriminatory approach of the central government towards Bengal in entertaining the Raghuram Rajan Committee Report. The state will lose more than Rs 4,000 crore of central funds due to this," Banerjee said on her official Facebook page.
The allocation of central funds for Bengal will be reduced hugely from 6.93 percent to 5.50 percent, thus directly hitting lots of developmental projects in the state targeted to the poor and the needy, she observed.
The committee, headed by the then chief economic advisor Raghuram Rajan, who iss now the Reserve Bank of India Governor, suggested a new methodology for devolving funds on states based on a "Multi Dimensional Index (MDI)".
"Bengal will stand to suffer significantly in spite of being a No 1 debt-stressed state," said Banerjee. Bengal has been categorised as one of the eleven less developed states by the panel.
"No one ever thought about more than rupees two lakh crore of debt thrust upon us by the previous government. No one ever thought that we will have to pay nearly Rs 28,000 Crore this year towards loan repayment and interest liability."
"Where is the money to do development work? It is clear that the Central Government is acting on political lines and partisan machinations. We strongly protest against this discriminatory attitude," added Banerjee.