News Brief

'West Bengal Facing Financial Breakdown': Governor Bose Meets Finance Minister Over Increasing Debt

Nishtha Anushree

Jul 01, 2024, 02:49 PM | Updated 02:49 PM IST

Nirmala Sitharaman and C V Ananda Bose
Nirmala Sitharaman and C V Ananda Bose

West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday (30 June) and expressed concern over the "financial breakdown" that the state is facing.

Bose proposed to send a critical analysis of the financial management of the state to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with a direction to place it before the Council of Ministers.

Apart from calling an emergency cabinet, he also demanded a White paper on the finance of the state from West Bengal government.

"The fiscal situation of West Bengal is confronting multiple fiscal risks and public finance management issues exposing serious lapses from the part of government," Bose was quoted as saying by ET.

"All state revenue deficit for the year 2023-24 is 0.2 per cent of GSDP. The same ratio for West Bengal is 1.8 per cent," Bose said referring to a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) study.

He highlighted that West Bengal’s revenue deficit is nine times higher than the all-state average and that the state’s fiscal deficit is estimated to be 3.8 per cent as per the budget estimates of 2023-24.

"This is higher than the FRBM target specified by the 15th Finance Commission. The debt to GSDP ratio of Bengal for the same year is 38.3 per cent when the all-state average is 27.6 per cent," he added.

"The interest payment to revenue receipts ratio is 20 per cent when the all-state average is much lower at 12 per cent," Bose said adding that. West Bengal is heavily reliant on the Central transfer.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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