KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Thursday alleged that the state has been deprived of Central funds despite repeated appeals in this regard to the BJP-led NDA Government.
“In the interest of democracy, I showed courtesy and went to New Delhi several times and appealed for funds. But we are not getting any financial help even after the recent devastating floods in the state. Now our patience is getting exhausted,” she said.
She claimed that the Centre had cancelled 39 out of the total 55 projects, besides drastically slashing the funds for the remaining projects. “As such, we don’t even know how much Central funds we will receive,” she said.
In fact, Mamata was the only CM who stayed away from the maiden meeting of Niti Ayog in February convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Arguing on behalf of the disbanded Planning Commission, Didi said, “Earlier the Planning Commission held regular meetings. Now, there is Niti Ayog which hardly holds any meeting.”
Alleging discrimination by the Centre, she said, “After heavy rains in Jharkhand, water is being released into West Bengal despite the recent floods that ravaged the state. Our dams and highways have been damaged. But the Centre is not disbursing funds to repair them.”
Mamata had been demanding Rs 3,000 crore from the Centre and writing off farmer loans as 12 districts in the state were badly affected and 8,000 hectare of agricultural land getting inundated, resulting in damage to crops and vegetables as a result of the deluge.
After the PM’s announcement of a special package for Bihar, she said, “We are not against package for any state, but West Bengal is being deprived by the NDA Government just like the erstwhile UPA Government.”
The CM had been for long demanding a moratorium on interest payments, which come to around Rs 80,000 crore a year, and by the end of the next financial year West Bengal’s debt burden will mount to Rs 3 lakh crore. The TMC Government had been claiming that 70 per cent of the state’s revenue was utilised for paying off the interest on loans taken by the former CPM-led Left Front Government.