No central aid to bail out Tripura

Agartala, Jan. 22 : Tripura finance minister Badal Chowdhury, accompanied by senior officials of the finance department, returned from Delhi this morning with no assurance of a bail-out package from the Centre.

Chowdhury met Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on January 18 to discuss the 13th Finance Commission’s final award, which dealt a blow to the state’s requirment of funds.

“The Centre is trying to penalise us for not implementing anti-people reform programmes. The Union finance minister told us that unless an error in accounting or calculation was detected he could do nothing because the 13th Finance Commission’s report had been approved by Parliament,” Chowdhury said.

He said despite mounting pressure from the Centre, the Left Front had not implemented the contributory pension scheme and had not completely stopped recruitment to government services.

“These measures implemented by Centre are anti-people. In a special category state like Tripura, recruiting unemployed youths to government services is unavoidable because in industry-scarce Tripura, the state government is the major employer,” he said.