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WB finance minister to meet PC, state not optimistic

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Kolkata, Sept 3: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra is set to meet Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram over financial package for the state on Sept 6 and 7 in New Delhi, said a report in Bengali news channel ABP Ananda. Mitra informed about this on Monday.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had met former Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and others over the financial package and sought a three-year moratorium on the loan. But she failed to succeed in her pursuit.

An annoyed Mamata even decided not to support Pranab as a UPA presidential candidate although political compulsions forced her to support him. After Pranab's election as the President, Mamata started fresh discussions with Chidambaram who succeeded Pranab. She spoke to Chidambaram a few days ago and also took the initiative for the Chidambaram-Mitra meeting.

However, the state government said it wasn't very optimistic about the upcoming meeting and it was even evident from Mitra's words, the channel reported.

It may be mentioned here that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said after returning from Iran that West Bengal's financial status was no different from other debt-ridden states like Punjab and Kerala. Following this, his upcoming meeting with Chidambaram will be just another routine affair, Mitra said.

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