Amit Mitra seeks urgent restructure of Bengal's Rs 200,000-cr debt burden

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 19, 2018

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee greets Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minister of Bhutan, at the Bengal Global Business Summit 2016 in Kolkata on Friday. Also seen are Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (extreme right), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (second left), and Bangladesh Minister of Commerce Tofail Ahmed.

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra (file photo)

The West Bengal government on Thursday again pitched for the possibility of restructuring its massive debt burden.

Interestingly, the pitch was made by West Bengal Finance Minister, Amit Mitra, to his Union counterpart, Arun Jaitley.

Playing his part as the master of ceremonies, Mitra made a subtle reference to restructuring of the State’s Rs 200,000-crore debt burden.

Jaitley had just finished his speech at the Bengal Global Business Summit where he said a stronger West Bengal with "investment and industry friendly" policies would help India achieve a higher growth rate.

The speech paved the way for Mitra to make the pitch.

"We have been doing all that the Honourable Union Finance Minister said (on policy making) despite a debt burden of Rs 200,000 crore. As his counterpart, I hope, at some point of time he will look at restructuring this huge debt burden of ours," Mitra said.

Greater gowth in East

Meanwhile, Jaitley said for the country to achieve a higher growth rate of 8 per cent and above, the growth of the eastern States, including Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and eastern Uttar Pradesh, was a must.

"Historically the eastern States have not had the growth rate of the western ones. So to achieve this extra one per cent it is imperative that the eastern States grow," Jaitley said.

The Union Minister further assured all possible steps would be taken by the Centre to facilitate and clear investment proposals, especially those of the eastern States.

Published on January 08, 2016

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