Launching a scathing attack against the Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday accused the government of wide-spread corruption and economic mismanagement, saying these were responsible for the “decline” of the State in terms of different economic indicators.

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Sitharaman accused that around 25 lakh fake job cards were created under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the State.

“It is a demand driven scheme. How can I pay the tax payers money?” the Union Finance Minister said while speaking at an event on “Viksit Bharat and Eastern India” here. Earlier this month, West Bengal Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya alleged that the Centre is denying the State’s rights in a federal polity by depriving the citizens from their entitlements, including MGNREGA wages.

Sitharaman further alleged that leading industrial groups are leaving the State due to poor law and order situation, uncontrolled trade unionism and poor performance in terms of ease of doing business.

She said the policies of the State government are responsible for the “high indebtedness” of the State and the government is not taking steps to address the problem of “downward trend of gross capital formation”.

“Any small businessman will know the money that you will get will have to be spent reasonably on his staff salary from expenditure to run the institution, but other things will have to be ploughed back so that the business can grow. Look at Bengal. A large part of the revenue goes for servicing debt and for servicing pensions. Which means the State government has no fiscal room to implement any schemes that it has promised,” the Finance Minister said.

“The annual per capita growth of West Bengal has been lower than the national average for the past two decades,” she added.