Asim picks holes in CM's 'empty coffer' claim

Asim Das gupta

Senior CPM leader and former finance minister Asim Dasgupta on Thursday said there exists a discrepancy between the budgetary statement of the Trinamool Congress government and the claims made by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the "poor" condition of state's finances.

"While the budget states that the total receipts of the state government for 2012-13 was Rs 1,00,366 crore, the Chief Minister repeatedly claims that it is only Rs 21,000 crores. It is quite misleading,'' Dasgupta told mediapersons at the party's state headquarters at Alimuddin Street.

He said that after the expenditure on the payment of interest, loans, salaries and pensions, the government is still left with a surplus of about nearly Rs 34,000 crores. "Why is the State government facing problems? Has it incurred any non-budgetary expenditure," Dasgupta asked. 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.

He said the impact on expenditure on account of salary after the implementation of the new pay commission during the regime of the Left Front "has come down significantly. So, what is the problem ?" he wondered. He also referred to the decline in small savings and said that it was linked to the proliferation of chit funds.

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