West Bengal Finance minister Amit Mitra on Tuesday expressed concerns over the Reserve Bank of India approving transfer of record Rs 1.76 lakh crore dividend and surplus reserves to the central government, saying it has increased the financial risk of the country. Boosting Prime Minister Narendra Modi regime’s prospect to stimulate the slowing economy without widening fiscal deficit, the RBI approved the transfer on Monday.
“It is a matter of concern that the Centre has to take money from the RBI. The Reserve Bank of India transferring record Rs 1.76 lakh crore dividend and surplus reserves to the government is a matter of great concern. This has increased the financial risk of the country. It will be a concern for the future of our nation,” Mitra said in the assembly.
“Two past governors have spoken on this issue. It is a question of the RBI’s autonomy. It is under a question mark now. There should be a discussion on this topic. This decision will not only affect the central government but also all the state governments,” he said. Mitra claimed that in 2018-19, the GDP growth rate in West Bengal is the highest among all the states of the country.
Listing the reasons behind the higher growth rate of GDP than other states, the minister said in 2017-18 the amount in planned expenditure was Rs 57,779 crore, but in 2018-19 it was increased to 71,113 crore, an increase of 23 per cent. “In 2017-18, the capital expenditure was 19,085 crore. Now in 2018-19 it has increased to 23,787 crore, which is an increase of 25 per cent. As because there has been an increase in planned expenditure, capital expenditure and private investments, there has been a rise in the GDP,” Mitra said.