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Bengal Congress slams under-utilisation of central funds

Kolkata, May 19 - As Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sticks to her demand of an interest moratorium for three years for debt-ridden West Bengal, state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharjee Saturday questioned the government's failure to utilise central funds.

"It is true that state government is facing a grave financial crisis. The central government is passionate about the cause of Bengal. It is untrue that the central government has not helped Bengal financially," said Bhattacharjee, whose party is a partner of Banerjee's Trinamool Congress in the state government.

He said that the original borrowing limit of the state was Rs.17,828 crore while West Bengal had borrowed more than Rs.20,000 crore from the market. The central government has also provided Rs.8,700 crore as a backward region development grant.

"The state has not been able to utilise the central funds fully that it received in the last one year," he said.

When asked about the state government's stand on the issue of the moratorium demanded by Banerjee, Bhattacharjee said: "The Congress feels that the moratorium is not a solution. It must find ways to increase its revenue. The central government is thinking over this issue of financial crisis not only in regard to West Bengal but also in regard to the situation in Punjab and Kerala."


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