KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee told a gathering at Cooch Behar on Thursday that she could have created employment opportunities for ten lakh people once the Centre accepted her demand for a three year moratorium on interest repayment against the loan taken by the previous Left Front government inWest Bengal.
“We have inherited a huge loan burden amounting to Rs 2 lakh crore from the previous Left Front government. When we came to power, we had urgedthe Centre to allow us not to repay the interests against this huge loan mount for three years. More than one and a half year has gone and the Centre has not accepted our demand. Once the Centre allowed us not to repay the interests for the three years, we could have utilise the money and by using that, we could have created ten lakh job opportunities in West Bengal,” Mamata had told a huge crowd at Cooch Behar. Interestingly, Mamata had skipped the National Development Council (NDC) meeting in Delhi on Thursday and deputed her finance minister Amit Mitra to attend the crucial meet. Mitra had read out a written speech by the chief minister in which Mamata had raised the loan moratorium issue again and held the Centre responsible for the huge loan burden her government had inherited from the previous Left Front government.
Trinamool Congress sources here said that Mamata will harp on the loan moratorium issue again and again during her campaign for the next year’s panchayat elections. “We will highlight this issue to prove that it is the Centre which had allowed the previous Left Front government to borrow indiscriminately and for which we are now facing acute financial crisis to run the government. The Congress and CPIM are friends and the CPIM-led Left Front government had got additional favour from the UPA government regarding borrowing money. Now our chief minister has sought a three year moratorium on interest repayment which the Centre is not accepting. This clearly proves that the Centre does not want to help our government,” said a senior Trinamool Congress minister Subrata Mukherjee.