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Bengal govt plans to raise additional reveue from next year

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, July 5 (UNI) With a view to bridging the huge gap between reveue and expenditure in the annual budget, the West Bengal government has decided to tighten its belts and raise additional fund to the tune of more than Rs 2,000 crore from next year.

This was announced here tonight by state Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta while replying to the marathon debate for the demand for grants of Rs 320.22 crore for his department in the state Assembly.

Seeking the support of all members, including the Opposition Congress and the All India Trinamool Congress(AITC), Dr Dasgupta armed with latest statistics claimed that despite limited resources the ruling Left Front had tried its best to reduce the increasing revenue deficit of the state by resorting to an ''alternative economy''.

Negating the allegations levelled by the Opposition members, including Opposition leader Partha Chatterjee and his party colleagues in the AITC and Congress Chief Whip Manas Bhunia, during the past three days, Dr Dasgupta said besides attrating huge investment of more than Rs 1250 crore in industry the Left Front government had been successful in generating more than 200,000 new jobs, mostly through self-helf groups.

While on one hand the state during the past three decades of Left Front rule had gradullay become self-sufficient in most of the agricultural production like rice and vegetables, on the other steps were being intitiated to create more employment opportunity and reduce the tax burden from the common people, the Finance Minister said.

Referring to the huge burden of Central taxes in the form of excises, Dr Dasgupta felt that the time was ripe to ask the Centre for more share in state revenues on one hand and drastically reduce the unplanned expenditure on the other to helf reduce the revenue deficit by nearly three per cent per annum.

Earlier, in a three-day-long debate on the 2006-07 state budget proposals in which altogether 73 speakers from all parties participated, while the Opposition tried to nail down the government for its alleged failures in different and blamed them for not properly managing the fiscal policies, the ruling party members in unison denied them flatly and bent on proving with statistics that in terms of overall growth West Bengal was marching far ahead than almost all other states.

Both in per capita income and spending our state was far ahead than the national average they claimed.

However, the budget was tonight passsed unanimously without any cut motion from the Opposition.

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