West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing concern over the “steady reduction of Central funds” to the state, which she said was to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore, and appealed for his intervention in the matter. In her letter, Banerjee raised five issues including the delay in releasing GST compensation to the state.
“I write to you with deep concern regarding the steady reduction of Central Funds to our State and also inordinate delay in release of funds due to us, from Government of India. You will appreciate that this extraordinary situation is leading to great hardship and creating major difficulties in meeting our obligations for the welfare of the common people of West Bengal,” Banerjee wrote in the letter.
The letter also states that West Bengal was being denied devolution funds during the financial year 2019-20, causing a “negative impact on the implementation of development schemes in the state”.
Banerjee also claimed that funds to the tune of Rs 36,000 crore for various Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) had not been received.
“I am further constrained to inform you that an amount of Rs 2,330.01 crore is yet to be received by West Bengal from the Central Government on account of Special Backward Regions Grant Fund. It is needless to say these funds could have given a stimulus to our development efforts in the backward regions of our state, helping crore of disadvantaged people to join the mainstream,” she wrote.
Claiming that the Centre was “heavily relying” on cesses and surcharges against taxes in the last five years, the West Bengal CM said, “Since they do not form a part of the kitty of Central taxes, their devolution to States does not happen.” She alleged it had become an instrument to reduce the receivables of the state from the Centre.
Mamata also took a dig at the Left parties in the state, saying that the state government had repaid Rs 3 lakh crore towards debt and interest pending by previous government.
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