Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday dismissed as a "bluff" the special assistance proposed by the central government for her state, and demanded the centre stop taking away funds towards repayment of loans.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed a series of sops for Bihar and West Bengal, which are set to hold assembly polls this year and in 2016.
"Developmental projects need money. Money is being taken away by the central government. We are not asking the centre to give money, we are asking to stop taking away money from us," Banerjee said after inaugurating a state-run burial ground at Topsia in east Kolkata.
"The so called `package` is a bluff. We used to get 61.8 percent. That is being raised to 62 percent," the Trinamool Congress supremo said.
State Finance Minister Amit Mitra had earlier said the total grant to Bengal in 2014 was Rs 4,05,582 crore and in 2015, it is Rs.3,28,277 crore, a reduction of 20 percent.
"The truth is, if all the grants are calculated together, in 2014 61.88 percent was given, in 2015 the share is 62 percent," Mitra had said on Saturday.
Presenting the union budget for 2015-16, Jaitley announced special assistance for the two eastern states on the lines of a package provided to Andhra Pradesh.