‘Govt misleading about poor financial health’

Senior CPM leader and former finance minister Asim Dasgupta on Thursday said the concerns raised about poor financial of the state by the Trinamool Congress government were incomplete and misleading.

"The Trinamool government is making comments on poor financial condition of the state. The statements are incomplete and misleading," Dasgupta, who was also the ex-chairman of Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on VAT, told reporters here today.

He said the impact on expenditure on account of salary had jumped by 59 per cent and pension outgo by 48 per cent in 2009 after the implementation of the new pay commission during the regime of the erstwhile Left Front. "Now the impact has come down significantly on both the heads. So, what is the problem ?" he wondered.

Referring to the non-plan expenditure of the state government, Dasgupta said the loan burden will swell to at least Rs 2.26 lakh crore by March 2013, up from Rs 1.92 lakh crore when the LF stepped down in May 2011.

The per capita loan is low in West Bengal compared to many other states and so the government should not make a scapegoat of lack of funds for development of the state, he said and wondered why it was not claiming Rs 5,000 crore from the Centre as coal cess.

Besides, due to implementation of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, the government will get an additional benefit of Rs 6000 crore.

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