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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

WB state budget misleading: former FM

HT Correspondent  Kolkata, March 13, 2013
First Published: 11:02 IST(13/3/2013) | Last Updated: 11:05 IST(13/3/2013)

Former state finance minister and CPI(M) central committee member Asim Dasgupta on Tuesday said that for want of clarification from incumbent Amit Mitra on Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth and huge employment generation, the state budget for 2013- 14 is quite misleading.

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According to Dasgupta, Mitra claimed to have achieved a GSDP growth of 7.6% during the financial year 2012- 13, based on 2.56% growth in the state's agriculture sector, 6.24% growth in industry sector and 9.48% growth in the services sector during the same fiscal.

Addressing mediapersons on Tuesday, the former finance minister said he failed to understand how the incumbent claimed to achieve a 2.56% growth when the figures on the bodo- season are yet to be available.

According to Dasgupta, Mitra's claims to have achieved a 6.24% growth in the state's industrial sector during 2012- 13 are even more misleading, since according to state's economic review, the growth index of West Bengal's industrial sector has declined to 1% in 2012- 13 from 2.9% in the previous fiscal.

"According to central statistics, there has not been any significant progress in the unorganised sector as well. So it isn't clear on what basis the finance minister claimed to have achieved 6.24% growth in the industrial sector during 2012-13," Dasgupta said.

Punching holes into Mitra's claim of having generated 10,24, 521 new jobs over the first nine months of 2012- 13, Dasgupta said as per figures available from documents such as the economic review and report of the State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC), West Bengal among others, the figure is no more than 1,00,000.

"As per the economic review, the number of central government employees in West Bengal declined by a 1,000 in 2012- 13 and the number of state government employees declined by 1,500 during the same period. Again during the same period, new jobs in the organised sector was just around 8,000. In the services sector, the generation of jobs during the same period had been around 5,000," Dasgupta said.

He said as per the records on bank loan sanctions and disbursements of SLBC, West Bengal, new jobs through self-employment had been around 1,00,000.

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