Mamata threatens Centre over loan interest payments

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 05, 2013 16:27 hrs

Midnapore (West Bengal): Stepping up her attack on the central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday threatened to carry to New Delhi her movement for a three-year moratorium on interest payments on central loans to her debt-tridden state.

Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress walked out of the United Progressive Alliance dispensation last September over economic issues, accused it of "robbing" her government of the right to take loans to tide over the difficult financial situation.

Iterating that the state's preceding Communist Party of India-Marxist- (CPI-M) led Left Front government had bequeathed a loan burden of Rs 2.03 lakh crore on her regime, Banerjee told a rally in this West Midnapore district headquarters that "the central government has robbed her of our right to take loans".

"But they had allowed the Left Front government to borrow indiscriminately leave behind a huge debt"

The chief minister said her government has for the past 19 months been asking for a three year moratorium on interest payments on central loans and a debt restructuring plan.

"We have spoken to the prime minister, the former finance minister (now president Pranab Mukherjee). But nothing has come of it. We have not received a single paisa".

"We want our dues so that we can work for the benefit of the people. We will wait. But the people will not tolerate this attitude of the centre for long.

"If our request for the moratorium and a debt restructuring plan goes unheeded, we will take our movement to Delhi," the chief minister said.

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