Salboni (WB): Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today renewed her demand for a waiver of interest on West Bengal's huge debt burden, saying that her government had not asked for anything in the railway and general budgets. “We have not asked for any anything in the railway budget. We have not also asked for anything in the general budget...,” Banerjee told a gathering here in West Midnapore district.
“A new government has come. We want the interest on the loans be waived by this government,” she said. “If that is not done we will launch an intensified movement (against the Centre) over it,” Banerjee said.
Asking why her government should be made to suffer because of the huge loans taken by the previous government, the chief minister said “Rs one lakh crore has been deducted from the state's coffers toward loan repayment. Every year the amount is rising.”
She said acute fund crunch was posing difficulties in carrying out development programmes. Despite repeated meetings with the previous UPA government for a three-year moratorium on repayment of the state's debt, the Trinamool Congress government had failed to exact any assurance.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was then the BJP President, at a rally here in February had accused the CPI(M) of reducing West Bengal's economy to a state of bankruptcy and supported Banerjee's demand for the moratorium. He had also urged the then UPA government to accept the demand.