Bengal's loan repayment burden to cross Rs 28000cr in 2013-14

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Kolkata, Mar 11: The annual loan repayment burden of the West Bengal government that has already crossed Rs 25,000 crore is set to jump by another 12 per cent in 2013-14. According to budget papers placed by state finance minister Amit Mitra, the projected loan repayment outgo stands at Rs 28,318.68 crore with outstanding debt swelling to Rs 2.47 lakh crore.

The revised budget estimate of 2012-13 loan repayment outgo stands at Rs 25,195 crore. Mitra in his budget speech also said the loan repayment burden has reached Rs 25,000 crore. Out of the projected Rs 3,125 crore hike in loan repayment, almost the entire amount is for repayment toward non-central government repayment (including small savings).

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Non-central government repayment includes other institutional loans, PF and other deposits. According to the budgeted figures for 2013-14, the principal amount repayment to the Centre stands at Rs 3,841.51 crore, up Rs 130 crore from the revised budgeted figure of Rs 2012-13.

Interest component repayment stands at Rs 8,424.10 crore, down from Rs 8,441.86 crore estimated for the revised budget for 2012-13. Repayment of principal and interest for other than Central government institutions for 2013-14 budget is Rs 4,985.31 crore and 11,067.76 crore, higher by Rs 1,300 crore and Rs 1,700 crore respectively.

Oppn leader describes Bengal budget as directionless

The Opposition leader in West Bengal Assembly, Surjya Kanta Mishra, on Monday described the state budget as "directionless" and alleged that there was no financial provision for projects proposed by Finance minister Amit Mitra. Mishra of the CPI(M) told reporters that raising the VAT rate would lead to price rise of all commodities and the finance minister made no serious effort to lift the state from the economic morass. He alleged that the finance minister had only incorporated projects already announced by the chief minister and there was no mention of any new scheme in the budget proposals.

PTI

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