Mamata for all party delegation to Centre on moratorium

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West Bengal 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.

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