New Delhi: The Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a 16 per cent hike in Plan outlay for West Bengal for the current fiscal at Rs 25,910 crore compared to the previous year's allocation, a decision welcomed by state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Plan size was finalised in New Delhi at a meeting between Commission's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"I am happy to announce that a Plan size of Rs 25,910 crore has been approved for the West Bengal for 2012-13. That is an increase of over 16 per cent as compared to allocation in previous financial year," Ahluwalia said after the meeting.
During the discussion on the Plan outlay, Ahluwalia said: "We had comprehensive discussion on infrastructure projects and possibility of using PPP for that. We have offered support to state government on PPP initiative".
"We are really grateful to the Planning Commission. The Plan outlay has been increased by about 16 per cent. We discussed about the road infrastructure, education, minorities, industry and agriculture also," Banerjee told reporters.
She said, "We discussed the potential of 10 lakh employment opportunities in the 12th Five Year Plan (in the state)".
Demanding a three year moratorium on the repayment of interest on debt, Banerjee said, "West Bengal is debt-ridden state. If our income is Rs 21,000 crore and we are paying Rs 20,000 crore as interest, then how come we will address state's issue?"
"We have not created this problem. It is a Left legacy. But people are facing this problem because of the legacy. That is why we want minimum three year moratorium on repayment," she added.
While acknowledging the issue, Ahluwalia said, "The decision on moratorium is in realm of Finance Ministry."