New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) The Annual Plan outlay of West Bengal for 2013-14 was Tuesday fixed at Rs.30,314 crore at a meeting here between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"We held discussions on various issues, including public private partnership (PPP) projects, horticulture, creation of cold storage for agriculture sector and the potential of sectors like tourism," Ahluwalia told reporters after the meeting.
"The planned assistance is for Rs.30,314 crore which will be a combination of state and central assistance. We will continue discussion with the West Bengal government."
Ahluwalia said utilization of central funds for flagship schemes by the state had been good. The growth rate of 7.6 percent had been achieved, which was better than the national average of 4.96 percent in 2012-13. Internal revenue growth was also satisfactory, he said, adding that efforts aimed at improving revenue growth must continue.
He said Banerjee had invited Commission members to Kolkata to hold further talks to discuss various other projects which are facing bottlenecks.
The West Bengal government has one of the highest debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, which is estimated to be around Rs.2 lakh crore.
Banerjee said West Bengal was grappling with a financial crisis due to huge debt incurred by the state under the previous administration.
"The state is facing financial problems due to the repayment of debt from the previous government. However, our efforts have shown results with high growth in our industrial, agriculture and services sectors," Banerjee said.
"The state has potential from tourism to manufacturing sector," she said, adding that the state's growth in sectors such as agriculture and textiles as also overall growth was higher than the national average due to the efforts made by her government.
She said agriculture and allied sector growth in 2012-13 is 2.56 percent against national growth of 1.79 percent, while industrial growth is 6.24 percent against nation's growth of 3.12 percent. She said even revenue growth of 30 percent had been achieved with reforms introduced in tax administration.
The Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government, which came to power in 2011, has been demanding a special economic package from the Centre in the form of an interest moratorium.
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