West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said she was "deeply shocked and anguished" at the "discriminatory approach" taken by the Centre towards the state, by accepting the Raghuram Rajan panel report.
The panel had categorised Bengal as "less developed", though it is "No. 1 debt-stressed state", she said.
Criticising the Centre for accepting the report, Mamata said, "The state will stand to lose more than Rs 4,000 crore of central funds due to this. It is clear that the central government is acting on political line.... We strongly protest against this discriminatory attitude."
"The allocation of central funds for Bengal will be reduced hugely from 6.93 per cent to 5.50 per cent, thus directly hitting a lot of developmental projects in the state targeted at the poor and the needy," she posted on social networking site Facebook.
"I am happy that some states will benefit. But Bengal will stand to suffer significantly in spite of it being the No. 1 debt-stressed state," she said.
Mamata, who had earlier repeatedly pleaded for a three-year moratorium on the payment of Rs 22,000 crore interest annually on loans so that welfare schemes could be undertaken, said, "No one ever thought about more than Rs two lakh crore of debt thrust upon us by the previous (Left Front) government."
"No one ever thought that we will have to pay nearly Rs 28,000 crore this year towards loan repayment and interest liability. Where is the money to do development work?" she asked.
The Raghuram Rajan panel report has made a case for ending the 'special category' criteria for providing additional assistance to poorer states, as it ranked Goa and Kerala as the most developed state and Odisha and Bihar the least.
West Bengal has been identified as a "less developed" state.