Protesting TMC lawmakers demand financial grant for debt-hit W. Bengal

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 21, 2013 14:50 hrs

Lawmakers of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday staged a protest outside parliament over the central government's delay in the granting a financial moratorium to debt-ridden West Bengal.

The state government has been demanding a financial bailout package to overcome grave economic conditions for long.

The state government is claiming the special financial package in the form of interest moratorium.

The state government is reeling under a debt of about Rs.two trillion and its current annual outgo towards interest payments is around Rs.220 billion.

Commenting over the financial crunch that West Bengal state has been facing, TMC party lawmaker Sudip Bandopadhyay said: "Bengal had demanded for a moratorium, which was not granted. We had also demanded for an increase in the supply of rice in Jangalmahal, a Maoist affected area, which was never granted. No attention was paid towards the restructuring for which 220 billion rupees were asked for. The government has turned a deaf ear towards all these problems. Thus, Bengal is becoming a victim of regional imbalance. We will not let this happen."

The procedures on the interest moratorium hit a setback when the Congress party and TMC parted ways over the issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country's retail sector last year.

After the pullout of a key ally the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) out of the ruling coalition on March 19, the TMC has decided to support the government on the stand that it takes on the UNHCR resolution to do with Sri Lanka.(ANI)

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