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Mamata Banerjee attacks Centre over GDP, jobs and state of the economy

West Bengal CM also tears into Modi govt on rising NPAs and the Citizenship Bill, which she says will divide the people along communal lines

Avishek Rakshit  |  Kolkata 

Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Benerjee | Photo: PTI

West Bengal chief minister, launched a scathing attack on the Centre on Thursday asserting that the Centre needs to tackle the ongoing economic concerns and employability issues instead of harping on religious and communal topics.

She said the GDP is in a dismal position and an ambience of uncertainty about the future prevails in the country.

“Everybody is scared, nobody is thinking about tomorrow. If one looks at the GDP, one will find that the economy is in a dangerous position,” Banerjee said in her address in the inaugural session of Infocom.

Stressing on the mounting non-performing asset (NPA) issue which has allegedly led to a deterioration in the financial health of the banks as well as the economy, Banerjee questioned how the economy or the banking system stands to gain from the ongoing merger of major public sector banks.

“I don’t know how one stands to gain from the merger. They are selling Railways, Air India and BSNL, and merging the banks. I don’t know what will their future be and there is uncertainty. Unemployment is going to be a disaster in the future,” Banerjee asserted.

Comparing her state with the Centre, she said that she is open to criticism but questioned the Centre’s way of coping with the same. Her comments came in wake of industrialist Rahul Bajaj's \concerns about the prevailing economic environment in the country. Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumder Shaw has also been vocal about certain policies of the Centre.

Stressing on the economic condition, Banerjee said, “I don’t know if dividing the people on lines of religion will work”.

The Central Cabinet approved the Citizenship Amendment Bill which will be tabled before Parliament. Union home minister Amit Shah had repeatedly stated this Bill would pave the way for Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Christian migrants along with those from other religions to acquire Indian citizenship. However, he had remained silent on whether the Bill would be applicable to Muslims as well.

Banerjee's party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has been opposing this Bill vehemently alleging that the Centre is trying to divide the people along communal lines. She asserted that there is no need for citizenship that has already been granted to be re-verified.

Talking about the IT sector in West Bengal, she said that her government is allocating a total of 200 acres for the IT sector and 70 new technological set-ups are going to come up in the IT hub in New Town.

First Published: Thu, December 05 2019. 20:27 IST
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