Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday sought to send an all-party delegation to the Centre to press the state’s demand for a three-year moratorium on interest payments.
The chief minister said that she had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh more than seven times and then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee eight to ten times to apprise them about the state’s financial health and asked for a three-year moratorium in interest payments to the Centre.
Making a statement in the Assembly, Banerjee said that nothing so far had happened and urged state industries minister Partha Chatterjee to take an all-party delegation to the Centre to press for the demand again.
The chief minister said that the burden of interest payments had now risen to Rs 25,000 crore from Rs 22,000 crore. Banerjee said that the government was constrained to carry out development activity in the state due to paucity of funds.
She said that Centre was telling the state that the loans taken by the previous Left Front government were from outside. Banerjee asked why the Centre allowed the state to do so and said that they could not shirk responsibility now.
The chief minister said that in spite of a tight financial situation, the state government had not failed in making salary payments to teachers and employees as well as raise DA.
Replying to a question on healthcare in the state, Banerjee said that in the last 34 years, the sector had been reduced to a shambles by the former Left Front government.
Blaming the Opposition Left Front Banerjee said that the hospitals were in a pathetic state with no doctor and other specialised staff.
She said that the government was looking for young doctors to join the health department for which incentives would be given.
LF members staged a walkout at the start of the session protesting that most of the questions pertaining to the CM’s departments were deleted.
Commenting upon the walkout, Chatterjee said that it was a ploy to disrupt proceedings of the house in any pretext. The manner they left the house was undemocratic and condemnable, he told reporters.