West Bengal's claim of Rs 98,000 crore dues from Centre unrealistic: Ashok Lahiri

PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 11-05-2022 20:37 IST | Created: 11-05-2022 20:37 IST
West Bengal's claim of Rs 98,000 crore dues from Centre unrealistic: Ashok Lahiri
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The West Bengal government's claim that the Centre owes it Rs 98,000 is unrealistic, BJP MLA Ashok Lahiri said on Wednesday.

Lahiri, the former chief economic adviser to the Union government, said it is difficult to calculate the heads under which the funds are being sought by the state government.

The Centre releases funds under three heads -- devolution to states from the divisible pool, grants-in-aid and centrally-sponsored schemes, he said.

Under the centrally-sponsored schemes, both the Centre and the states have to share the cost and if the states do not pay their own shares, the central money is not released, he added.

The Centre releases fresh funds after the states furnish utilisation certificates for the funds already given, Lahiri said addressing a press conference at the BJP office here.

The state government's claim to that amount does not hold good as for the five years -- 2021 to 2026, the annual quota for all the states from the divisible pool is around Rs 32,000 crore, he said.

The demand is purely unrealistic, he claimed.

Noting that there is no limit to populism, Lahiri said that states following populist policies will see their finances depleted.

Hitting back, state minister Sashi Panja said the West Bengal government was not making the claim over the dues without proper documents.

''We have already provided a break up of the categories to the Centre. Now, it is for them to say whether they would clear the dues or not,'' she told PTI.

''As the BJP failed politically in West Bengal, it is now trying to stifle the state financially,'' Panja, a senior TMC leader, said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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