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Former Bengal finance minister slams Jaitley

Posted on Aug 26 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, Aug 26 : Former West Bengal finance minister and Asim Dasgupta Tuesday slammed union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for singling the state's loan repayment performance.

Quoting RBI and government reports, Communist Party of India-Marxist veteran Dasgupta blamed the central government's policies for the debts that Bengal had to incur.

"Jaitley should have done an overall assessment of the debt scenario in the country before commenting on West Bengal. If the state governments have incurred debts, it is because of the centre's policies," Dasgupta told media persons here.

Jaitley Sunday had attacked the erstwhile Left Front regime and successor Trinamool Congress for their "populist" policies and dependence on borrowings to run the state.

Dasgupta also maintained that it was not Bengal alone but even the central government was deep into debts.

"The total outstanding debt of West Bengal until March 31, 2011 (when the Left Front was still in power in the state) was Rs. 1.93 lakh crore, while the centre's figure stood at Rs. 39 lakh crore... it is not Bengal alone," he said.

Dasgupta also slammed the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool government claiming it has been heavily borrowing.

Quoting government reports, he claimed that by the end of 2015, the central government would incur estimated debts of Rs.45.91 lakh crore while Bengal's debts would stand at Rs.2.75 lakh crore.

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