West Bengal moving towards debt trap: Pranab

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that West Bengal was one of three states moving towards a debt trap.

Kolkata: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that West Bengal was one of three states moving towards a debt trap.

"We review financial position of states periodically. In a recent review (it was found that) three states are likely to be in debt trap situation by 2014-15 and West Bengal is one of
them," Mukherjee told a meet-the-press programme.

He said that in 2009-10, the total outstanding debt of the poll-bound state stood at Rs 1,62,000 crore.

Refuting the Left Front government`s common refrain that West Bengal was being deprived of adequate funds by the Centre, Mukherjee said they had raised this issue time and again during the time of elections.

He said through the Finance Commission route, the Centre`s assistance to the state had doubled during 2005-2010 to Rs 51,000 crore over the previous 11th Finance Commission`s
tenure when the NDA was in power.

During the 13th Finance Commission period, he said that assistance to the state had increased 131 percent to Rs 1,18,000 crore.

"From this, anybody can ascertain whether the Centre is depriving the state," he said.

PTI

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