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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

Before Prez polls, Centre offers sops to Bengal

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 11, 2012
First Published: 23:15 IST(11/6/2012) | Last Updated: 23:16 IST(11/6/2012)

With the Presidential poll round the corner, the Centre on Monday reportedly offered a slew of sops to the debt-ridden West Bengal government — led by UPA’s maverick ally Trinamool Congress.

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“Talks were positive. But more discussions will follow,” state finance minister Amit Mitra said after the meeting. While the Centre is believed to have found it difficult to accommodate Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s demand of a 3-year moratorium on interest repayment that amounts to a staggering Rs. 22,000 crore annually, it is ready to enhance the financial aid meant for various developmental schemes.

“Whatever we could offer, we have placed before the state. Now it is for them to decide,” a top official told HT. In Kolkata, Banerjee tried to downplay the meeting saying it was a ‘routine’ one.


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