Bengal CM writes to PM seeking Rs 25,000 crores as immediate assistance

Staff Reporter ; Kolkata, 1 April : Expressing serious concern at the current overall economic situation of the country in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic when there is no inflow of revenue because of the closure of almost all businesses,West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today sought at least Rs 25,000 crores from the Centre to help tide over the present critical situation.

In a letter to Prime minister Narendra Modi from the state Secretariat Nabanna this evening the Chief minister drew his attention to the fact that the state government still had a due payment of Rs 36,000 crores from the Government of India in addition to another Rs 11,000 crores or more because of the devolution of the state.

As a result the state government was finding it very difficult to meet a number of its commitments to the people including those to the girl child,students,farmers,unorganised workers,weaker sections and the minorities,the Chief minister in her letter said.

She further stated that the her government was also find it very difficult to provide daily rations to over 9 crore people of the state ‘who need it so crucially to survive during this perilous time’.

Further referring to the current situation the Chief minister in her letter to Prime minister Modi stated that ‘the manner in which the financial situation of states is rapidly deteriorating , our suggested relaxation on debt and debt management, even if accepted would not be enough’.

‘Therefore’, she stated, ‘ I earnestly urge you to sanction a grant of minimum of Rs 25,000 crores for the state of West Bengal and release the funds still due to us from the GOI,as per my earlier letter to you ‘
At the conclusion of her two page letter the Chief minister said ‘ to uphold the spirit of Cooperative Federalism, we need this minimum help from the Central government to cope with this unprecedented impasse at this hour to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.’