Debt burden, a big challenge for Didi’s second term

RSTV Bureau
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's cabinet Minister Amit Mitra  takes oath in her presence in Kolkata. Photo-PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet Minister Amit Mitra takes oath in her presence in Kolkata.

Mamata’s second term comes at a time when West Bengal is facing huge debt burden. Experts say that Banerjee has an uphill task to take state’s economy on the growth path and attract investments to spur industrial growth.

According to budget estimates presented in the assembly by Bengal Finance Minister by Amit Mitra, the debt stands at Rs 3.34 lakh crore, it was about Rs 2 lakh crore in March 2011, when she took charge as CM.  In the past six years, Trinamool government’s contributed about Rs 1.34 lakh crore to the debt.

The debt obligation could start hurting the state government in the way creating public utilities and infrastructure. Her Manifesto promises of the present election or continuation of her pro poor schemes might be affected. Media reports suggest that Mamata government has paid Rs 33,067 crore clearing the debt last but it was not sufficient for state.

Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has taken oath today as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the second time in a row along with 41 party MLAs on prestigious Red Road.

In a massive gala event attended by guests from Bhutan, Bangladesh and several state Chief Ministers in Kolkata, Bengal Governor K N Tripathi administered the swearing in ceremony of Mamata Banerjee.

Mamata’s swearing-in was attended by Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Babul Supriyo, Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdullah, Chief Ministers of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh along with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.The Congress, which emerged as the number two party in Bengal elections boycotted the event.

Mamata Banerjee secured a massive victory in the state elections held in six stages. She kept her Assembly Election campaign focus on development and social welfare initiatives of her government, listing among others rice for Rs 2 a kilo, distribution of cycles, healthcare, roads and connectivity.

Mamata party fought alone against the Left-Congress combine this time and bagged 211 seats out of the total 294 assembly seats. In 2011, AITC contested in alliance with the Congress and won 184 seats.