Press Statement issued by BJP National Secretary,
With the assembly election 2016 approaching, the TMC government has resolved of using taxpayers money to spread falsehood that Bengal is surging ahead by comparing state growth story with India. A series of misleading full page advertisements have appeared in national/ vernacular news papers. They are a blatant distortion of statistics to create perception that Bengal is developing under Mamta Banerjee before the elections. The BJP rejects their claims:
1. The economic base of West Bengal is very low compared to India. Therefore when GSDP is calculated on low base figure the percentage is always higher.
2. The advertisement has shown high growth in per capita income, Industry and Agriculture including Forestry / Fishery for the year 2014-15. If there is genuine growth in all these sectors then revenue generation of the State should have increased many folds. However as per RBI the Own Tax Revenue ratio to GSDP is 5.7%, which is amongst the lowest in India. Lower than Nagaland and Manipur
3. To substantiate that OTR has been low – one should look at the State debt to GSDP. High dependence on debt means the State’s own revenue generation exercise has not been good. If you have money you don’t borrow. To give some figures of Debt to GSDP in percentage: WB ( 35%) , MP ( 20.9%), Rajasthan ( 24.9%), Chhattisgarh ( 15.2%) They all are non-special category states.
4. The TMC government’s claim that Bengal is witnessing a boom in industrialization is contrary to the ground reality as many industries are closing down including popular industries of jute and tea. Only one industry is flourishing – Bomb making. The lack of industrialization is because of growth of syndicates under TMC that were called local committees under CPIM. To give example of syndicates growth, who are roadblocks to state’s reindustrialisation:
Donation to Clubs: 2012 – 15.62 crs
2013 – 40.09crs
2014 – 64.15crs
2015 – 115.00crs
Flourishing of syndicates happens because there are no large-scale labour intensive industries generating enough jobs for the educated youths.
5. To substantiate our 4th point – RBI data shows that from April 2000 – March 2015 the state received lowest in FDI inflows. For comparative purposes Maharashtra received $ 73,118 million, Delhi $ 49410 million, Tamil Nadu $ 17014 million, WB $ 2981 million. Mamata Banerjee went to Singapore in 2014 and UK in 2015 but no major investment has come to the State.
6. During the Global Bengal Business Summit 2014, as per WB government received Rs 2.43 lakh crores worth investment. No breakup is given by the government when asked in the assembly. The government claims that work of Rs 91230 crs have started. The fact is that Rs 79000 crs is Central government works related to roads, ports and power sectors. It would be better if state government while giving figures only claim what the state has been able to generate.
7. Land acquisition or the unwillingness for it is the biggest problem being faced in Bengal. NTPC plant in Katwa has been scaled down from 1600 MW to 1320 MW because of land unavailability due to State govt’s unwillingness to acquire. Therefore no large scale capacity building can happen.
8. The state government is flushed with Central funds particularly after the 14th Finance Commission. Moreover the funds being given for infrastructure are being diverted for doles by TMC govt. Recently while hearing land losers petition for extension of NH 34 , Justice Sanjib Banerjee of Kolkata High Court remarked that despite NHAI giving funds to the state govt the same are not being disbursed to the farmers.
9. Since TMC wishes to make State v/s All India comparison, BJP would like to know from Mamata Banerjee what she has to say on :
a) All India average of landless rural households is 56 % why in WB it is 70% – ( source-socio economic caste census)
b) Percentage of households with kuchcha house- All India is 44.59 why in WB it is 59.27 ?
c) Asset ownership – Mobile phone : All India 68.32 % why in WB it is only 54.82% ?
10. On Agriculture the State government claims higher growth than all India. Which again is an incorrect way of comparison due to low base. However TMC must answer why source of income through cultivation in WB is 18.87 % against all India 30.11%?
Unfortunately, 34 years of Left Front government’s mis-rule has been extended to 39 years as TMC is nothing but a mirror image of Left. Bengal is gradually becoming an ungovernable State and is in a state of terminal decline.
(ER. ARUN KUMAR JAIN)