West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has once again called for an interest moratorium for the cash-strapped state government. She today gave the central government a 15-day ultimatum and warned that its 'indifferent attitude'' could become a ''big issue.''
"We have not enough income to pay the interest for the debt burden bequeathed by the erstwhile (Left Front) government. We are repeatedly urging (the central government) that we do not need its mercy, but that it should provide us at least a three-year interest moratorium. They should give us the moratorium as we are unable to pay it," Banejee said during a programme in Kolkata.
She also took a dig at the centre for deduction of Rs1,500 crore from the compensation for central sales tax (CST).
"We have been waiting for one year. But enough is enough. The centre has also deducted Rs1,500 crore from our share of CST compensation. On the one hand, it is cutting Rs22,000 crore as interest, and on the other it is deducting Rs1,500 crore from CST compensation. It means the centre is making the state government debt-ridden to ensure that it cannot function," she stated.
She said she would certainly not tolerate it and warned the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and gave it 15 days to decide on the interest freeze for three years.
"I am still appealing to the centre, but if it continues to remain indifferent, then it will be a big issue. I will still wait for 15 days. I have earlier called on the prime minister and met with the finance minister several times, but till now we have not received any funds," Banerjee stated.