If Pranab does not go to Raisina Hills, West Bengal financial package can go downhill

Written by: Sunil Fernandes

West bengal package all set to go downhill
In an era where politics has become vindictive, if Pranab Mukerjee stays in North block as Finance Minister, Mamata can forget her West Bengal financial package.

It's very much likely that Pranab da will get back at her for sabotaging his chances of becoming the President of India. This will of course come by way of refusing a West Bengal package, or as Mamata has put it "a moratorium on interest payments" that are around Rs 22,000 crores.

The State of West Bengal has staggering debt of Rs 200,000 crores and is in desperate need of money. It's on the brink at the moment and is struggling to even meet its debt obligations.

In fact, according to a report in the Times of India, West Bengal governor M K Narayanan had recently written to the Finance Ministry that the state is going through a financial emergency and the centre must step in to help the Mamata Banerjee government handle the crisis.

Of course, the present debt is the profligacy of the communist government, which itself adopted populist measures and so could rule the state for 35 long years. Mamata desperately needs the cash and her ability to antagonise other politicians, particularly those in the Congress may not work to her advantage.

How is she now going to fund her populist policies, something that she needs and something that helped the communist parties to cling onto power for 35 years is a question mark.

The West Bengal Finance Minister, Mr Amit Mitra, recently called on Pranab Mukherjee, to seek a special package for the state, but talks remained inconclusive.

Mukherjee, during a debate in the Rajya Sabha in May, said that West Bengal would have received the relief, had it enacted the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) law in 2005, as was suggested by the 12th Finance Commission.

In vindictive politics, its likely that someone's going to get hurt. It's just a matter of time, before we see who's interest are sabotaged and how. The game of politics has become like crabs in a bucket - each one pulling the other down to reach the top.


Read more about: mamata, pranab mukerjee
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