Centre assures financial help to W Bengal to tide over crisis

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Pranab Mukherjee
Kolkata, May 30: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on May 29 assured that West Bengal would be provided all assistance to tide over its financial crisis.

"Whatever short-term assistance is required will be provided and after discussions a long-term plan for the state's financial recovery will be taken," Mukherjee told newsmen after a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at his residence.

Accepting that the situation was ''difficult'', Mukherjee said in the presence of Banerjee that it had been agreed at their meeting that long and short-term assistance was necessary for the state.

Stating that his talks with the chief minister were positive, the senior Congress leader said, "All help will be extended to the state government to fulfill the mandate that the people have given to this government."

Banerjee said, "It has been decided to formulate short-term, long-term and mid-term strategies to tide over the crisis, which is worse than the devastating cyclone Aila."

She said officers of the Centre and the state government would first hold discussions to work out measures to tide over the financial crisis to be followed by a meeting between state finance minister Amit Mitra and Pranab Mukherjee.

"Later, when I go to Delhi for the Plan discussions, I will meet Pranabda and hold further discussions with him to find out how a healthy financial situation can be created for the state," she said.

"As Pranab-da belongs to this state, it is our belief that he will provide all help so that the people are benefitted," she said.

Banerjee also invited the Union Finance Minister for a cup of tea at the Writers' Buildings, while saying with a smile, "the sweets will be brought by Pranabda".

Mukherjee said, "I accept the invitation."

Others present at the meeting were state Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Industry and IT Minister Partha Chatterjee, Union Expenditure Secretary Sumit Bose, Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh and state Finance Secretary C M Bachawat.

PTI

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