Had it not been for the huge interest being paid to the Centre on loans taken by the erstwhile Left Front government, large-scale employment would have been possible in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said today.
"While in 2011-12, the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) took away Rs 21,000 toward debt servicing, in 2012-13 they took Rs 25,000 crore out of Rs 32,000 crore that we earned," she said.
"I am told that this fiscal they will take Rs 28,000 crore," Banerjee said.
"Had it not been for the huge debt servicing, we could have made provision for 10 lakh jobs to the people of our state," she said.
She said that she had told the Finance Commission, Finance Minister and the Prime Minister on several occasions that this should be stopped.
"I am reiterating my demand here," she said at the Karnajora ground in the heart of the Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency which is held by Union Minister of State for Urban Development Deepa Das Munshi.
Dasmunshi, wife of ailing Congress leader and former union minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, has long been critical of the Trinamool Congress supremo and spoke against her even during the alliance between the two parties.
"Why should the Centre punish the government for the misdeeds of the previous government?" Banerjee questioned, blaming the Left Front for leaving a debt burden of around Rs two lakh crore when the Trinamool Congress took over in 2011.
Promising to promote the ailing jute industry in the state, the chief minister said "If the Centre does not make use of jute bags mandatory for packaging, the state will do it."