West Bengal Finance Minister flays Centre for shrinkage in GDP

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on September 07, 2020

Amit Mitra, West Bengal Finance Minister

The Centre is “rudderless and clueless” charged the West Bengal Finance Minister, Amit Mitra, on Monday blaming for the shrinkage in GDP.

According to him, the Centre’s spending in the April to July 2020 period was just ₹100,000 crore more than what it was year ago.

Taking to Twitter, Mitra wrote: “Centre rudderless & clueless. Why did India’s GDP shrink the most in the world? GoI spent only (Rs) 1 lakh crores more in April-July 2020, compared to 2019-20, while headlines scream (Rs) 20 lakh crore stimulus! Negligible additional stimulus meant 11 lakh cr of GDP lost forever. 24 per cent shrink.”

Outspoken critic

The Bengal finance minister, himself an economist, is a vociferous critic of the Centre’s economic policies. He has been vocal against demonetisation and implementation of GST Network, which he claimed was under-prepared at the time of nationwide implementation.

In fact, his recent showdown with the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, happened after West Bengal shot down the Centre’s compensation proposals to meet the shortfall in GST revenues.

The Centre had asked States to either borrow a projected shortfall of ₹97,000 crore only on account of GST implementation — and not due to Covid-19 – through a special window. This amount can be fully repaid from the compensation cess fund, without being counted as State debt or borrow the entire projected shortfall of₹235,000 crore from markets, facilitated by Centre and Reserve Bank of India.

Published on September 07, 2020

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