Mamata writes to Prime Minister Modi, requests financial assistance of Rs 25 billion

KOLKATA: Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee wrote to the prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, seeking financial assistance of Rs 25 billion to meet state government commitments to provide people with a free ration and to continue other welfare plans amid falling earnings at a time when all businesses are closed due to national closure.

In the letter, Mamata Banerjee stated that the West Bengal government needs assistance from the Center to cope with the unprecedented impasse to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our state finances, like that of many other states, are in dire straits, with virtually no revenue streams after all companies close. Despite this, we have somehow been able to pay the salaries, wages and pensions of government employees this month. some major states in the country were unable to do so entirely. And even with the massive debt trap left by the previous government, we were able to pay off the debt so far, but the future remains uncertain, Mamata said in the letter to the Prime Minister.

Additionally, we are obligated to honor our commitments to girls, students, farmers, unorganized workers, weaker sections, minorities, SC, ST, and OBC. We also have to honor our commitments to provide free rations to nearly 9 million people, who need this so crucially to survive in this dangerous time, he wrote.

Banerjee said the Center should sanction Rs 25 billion to West Bengal and also release the other funds due to the state.

The Center has already reduced its return to our state by more than Rs 11 billion rupees and had not yet paid Rs 36 billion rupees owed by the Government of India to our state, it said in the letter.