Children are born in Bengal with a debt burden of 58 thousand taka! “No fear”, claims the government –

: If you are born in West Bengal, you will be burdened with a debt of 58 thousand rupees! This sensational information comes out in the statistics of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management or FRBM. At the end of the tenure of the previous Left Front Government (CPM Government) in the financial year 2010-11 the population was around 9.12 crore. And the average per capita loan was Tk 20,530. There the state debt in 2022-23 is Tk 5,86,438 crore. Now the population has increased to about 10 crores. As such, about 58 thousand per capita debt! State Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said, ‘FRBM is not being broken. The state government is borrowing as much as it needs.’

For growth in developing economies, spending more than income is always viewed negatively in the economy. But if that expenditure is mainly used for building fixed assets like roads-bridges-ports then it has economic importance. Infrastructural development increases long-term economic benefits. The amount of revenue collection of the state also increases by leaps and bounds. But according to the data of the Reserve Bank, the state’s allocation to the capital sector is also very bad. Only 1.1% of the state’s total GDP in 2020-21.

According to the report of the organization, about 90% of the money is spent on salaries, pensions, administrative expenses, cash disbursements, subsidies, cost of grant schemes, interest on old loans. The crisis has worsened during the Covid pandemic. The state has no other option but to borrow to deal with the situation. Due to this, the amount of debt has doubled, but the infrastructure has not been built compared to that. Economist Ashok Lahiri said, ‘Accelerating development is the only way to salvation. Only then will the income increase. If it is spent at the fair, what will be done?’

According to West Bengal government, debt was 41.9% of GDP in 2010-11. Now it has reduced to 33-34 percent. However, the Reserve Bank claims that debt to GDP may reach 37 percent in the financial year 2026-27.

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