West Bengal Set To Get New Finance Minister, Amit Mitra Seemingly To Bag New Function

The Mamata Banerjee authorities in West Bengal is prone to see a brand new finance minister taking cost, as the current minister Amit Mitra’s six-month tenure as a non-elected minister ends on Tuesday. He was sworn in on Could 10, 5 days after Banerjee took oath because the chief minister for her third consecutive time period.

Nonetheless, in all chance, the chief minister will appoint Mitra on some advisory function within the finance division as she closely is determined by him in managing the state exchequer. This is the reason there are speculations that Banerjee may hold the division to herself and permit Mitra to do the job as advisor to the minister.

The 73-year-old former secretary-general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Business (FICCI) has been serving because the finance minister because the Trinamool Congress (TMC) authorities got here to energy in 2011.

“As of now, the most-likely choice is that the chief minister will hold the division to herself, appoint a junior minister and appoint Mitra because the advisor to the division. The junior minister will coordinate with Mitra for easy functioning,” mentioned a veteran TMC minister who didn’t need to be named.

Resulting from a number of age-related illnesses, Mitra didn’t contest the meeting elections held in March-April this yr. After returning to energy, Banerjee, who relies upon considerably on Mitra for managing the state exchequer, requested him to proceed.

Not like chief minister Mamata Banerjee who too had taken oath as a non-MLA chief minister however later received elected in a bypoll, Mitra didn’t contest any by-election. He had knowledgeable his celebration that his well being wouldn’t enable him to marketing campaign for any election.

“A number of modifications within the authorities are anticipated on Tuesday. Not solely will the federal government should entrust another person with the finance ministry, it additionally has to discover a alternative for an additional veteran Subrata Mukherjee,” mentioned a Bengal minister who didn’t need to be quoted.

Mukheree, 75, died on Thursday. He served because the panchayat and rural improvement minister from 2011.

Finance and panchayat and rural improvement have been one of the crucial vital departments in her authorities and she or he by no means modified the minister involved since 2011.

Mitra has been dealing with the huge activity of controlling the state’s debt-GSDP (gross state home product) ratio amid the federal government’s comparatively excessive share of social welfare expenditure within the backdrop of the absence of any new massive industrial challenge over the last 10 years.

The TMC authorities considers Mitra’s efficiency as commendable, as regardless of an enormous improve in social sector expenditure through the Mamata Banerjee regime in comparison with the erstwhile Left Entrance authorities, the state’s debt-GSDP ratio got here down from its historic peak at 41.9 % in 2010-11 to 34.75 % in 2018-19, based on the state’s price range reviews.

Within the state’s complete expenditure, the share of spending in social welfare sector – which incorporates schooling, sports activities, artwork and tradition, well being and household welfare, water provide, sanitation, housing, and the welfare of labours and the backward lessons – elevated from 9.8 % in 2010-11 to 19.42 per cent in 2018-19.

But, the state’s gross fiscal deficit as a proportion of the GSDP improved from 4.2 % in 2010-11 to 2.96 % in 2018-19, based on price range paperwork.

Nonetheless, political and financial observers didn’t have a lot reward on supply for him.

“Mitra has performed a task in growing state income however I don’t contemplate him to have performed any distinctive function. First, he did not verify the expansion of chit funds at first of the TMC regime till the chit fund bubble burst by itself. Second, regardless of having been a outstanding FICCI character for a very long time, he did not construct belief among the many industrial sector on investing in Bengal,” mentioned Udayan Bandyopadhyay, who teaches political science at Bangabasi School in Kolkata.

Left economist Prasenjit Bose, nevertheless, feels Mitra’s achievements have been rather more modest than his “hyperbolic and exaggerated claims, unsubstantiated by information.”

Bose mentioned, “The state’s GSDP figures have been inflated which artificially improved the debt-GSDP. There was little enchancment within the state’s personal tax income mobilisation. Social sector spending has elevated largely on account of enhanced devolution of the state’s share in central taxes following the fourteenth finance fee’s suggestions”.

Mitra, who holds a PhD in economics from the Duke College within the US, comes from a household of freedom fighters, together with his father, Haridas Mitra and mom, Bela, who additionally was a niece of ‘Netaji’ Subhas Chandra Bose.

Each Haridas and Bela have been a part of Bose’s Indian Nationwide Military and the previous was additionally sentenced to demise by the British administration, although later commuted. Later, he was elected to the state Meeting in 1957 as a Praja Socialist Social gathering member, in 1967 as a Bangla Congress member and in 1972 as a Congress member.

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