Mamata claims on dry state coffers misleading: CPI-M

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 16:10 hrs

Kolkata, Jan 24 (IANS) Dubbing as a "misleading statement" the Mamata Banerjee government's continuous claim that the West Bengal's treasury gets empty after debt servicing, the opposition CPI-M Thursday wondered whether it is due to "overspending" on non-plan expenditures.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) also asked the Trinamool Congress government to clear the air as its budget statements contradict its claims.

"I detect a self-contradiction in different statements of the government on financial position. Going by the budget statement for 2012-13, it is hard to find out why the state's coffers will be running dry after paying the annual debt-servicing quotient of Rs.25,000 crore," CPI-M leader Asim Dasgupta, who is also the state's former finance minister, told a media conference here.

"As per the budget estimates, the state government would have a total revenue receipt of Rs.1,00,000 crore for this fiscal. And the government is confident of meeting the target. On expenditure side, it has to spend about Rs.41,000 crore for salary and pensions. Now, if we add Rs.41,000 crore to Rs.25,000 crore, the sum amount is Rs.66,000 crore, which is much less than the total revenue receipt," he observed.

"Thus after debt servicing and salary payment, the government should be able to fund its plan expenditure of Rs.23,371 crore for the financial year," Dasgupta pointed out.

The CPI-M leader's comments come on the backdrop of Chief Minister Banerjee's repeated statements that the government faced a financial crunch in paying salaries to its employees and also for spending on developmental projects after the debt-servicing.

Dasgupta Thursday said the government should come out with definite explanations to clear the confusion created by its "incomplete and misleading" statements.

The former finance minister also wondered whether the financial crunch was due to "over spending" under non-plan expenditure.

"Is the problem that some expenditures are incurred which are not included in the budget?" he asked.

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