Will Modi help debt-hit Bengal? Mamata keeps fingers crossed

Written by: IANS
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Kolkata, May 26: On the day Narendra Modi was sworn in as prime minister, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday kept her fingers crossed about the new government addressing the state's massive debt problem.

Facing severe a financial crunch, the Banerjee government earlier demanded from the 14th Finance Commission Rs.255,000 crore for five years (2015-20) besides extending the 10-year State Development Loan (SDL) to 15-20 years with a three-year interest moratorium.

However, the Congress-led regime did not accede to the demand.

"They (the UPA-II government) were taking away the funds (for repayment of the central loans taken by the state) from our resources. A new government is taking over. Let's see what happens," Banerjee said at a state government programme here.

Addressing an election rally here, Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh had made common cause with Banerjee, saying her demand for a three-year interest moratorium on central loans was justified.

"We are one with Mamata on this. The condition of the economy in Bengal is as bad as it was in Greece some time back. When Greece faced a severe economic crisis, the entire European Union came forward to bail it out. We feel the Congress-led UPA should have given a package to the people of Bengal for their benefit," Rajnath Singh had said.


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