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'We are looking at garnering greater resources', says W. Bengal Finance Minister

August 12, 2011 - Kolkata

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra has said the funds that would be allocated by the Centre would be utilized for improving and introducing new employment, pension and educational projects in the state.

Mitra said the key issue is to facilitate improved physical and human infrastructure by building new bridges, currently in dilapidated conditions, opening schools for children and dealing with child-mother issues.

"We are looking at plans; we are first looking at garnering greater resources. When we garner greater resources you get an ambitious 31 percent increase in the revenue collection. Now where does that revenue go? First and foremost is human infrastructure, social infrastructure, schools, hospitals child development, issues of mother and child, all kinds of things that I have delineated today that is the first preference," Mitra told mediapersons in Kolkata on Thursday.

"Second is physical infrastructure, obviously bridges have decayed in West Bengal; they are falling apart with what you see today; with the rains. Everything has to be repaired, new bridges have to be built, new roads have to be built," he added.

Mitra further said that allocation for salaries would grow by 12 percent if the Union Finance Ministry allots funds to the state.

"The total amount of allocation for salaries is not being reduced, it will grow by 12 percent, targeted, which means more young people will be employed in the process of this developmental philosophy and this developmental process. Same thing for pensions, the elderly people we respect them," said Mitra.

"We do not want to reduce the pension because that is not done. Infact we are increasing it by seven percent in terms of allocation of pension," he added.

Giving details of the developmental plan for West Bengal, Mitra said that substantial efforts would be made to improve the infrastructural conditions of the state.

"We will resuscitate Bengal and in the process there will be greater employment and those who are working today will obviously have increases as per the rules as per the structure as per price increases and all these different things," said Mitra.

"So, what I am saying is that the key to this is development, social infrastructure, physical infrastructure, agriculture and in the processes services will grow, because if you create physical infrastructure, services will grow," he added.


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