Bengal will lose Rs 7,000 cr in taxes due to demonetisation: Amit Mitra

New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) Highlighting the devastating impact of demonetisation on the economy of Indian states, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said on Thursday that the state stands to lose Rs 7,000 crore in taxes owing to the contraction in economic activity resulting from the scrapping of high-value currency.

“By conservative estimates, Bengal will lose between Rs 5,000-6,000 crore in taxes as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said on the floor of the assembly,” Mitra said in an interview to India Today news channel.

“This figure could maybe go up to Rs 7,000 crore. Where will the money come for social programmes, for health, education, social development projects?” he asked.

Mitra said the informal, unorganised sector, including agriculture, which is larger in Bengal than many other states, had collapsed.

“A jute mill closed yesterday. Tea garden workers are crying to be paid and we even asked the Reserve Bank to send cash to the District Magistrates, who could then disburse salaries, but the RBI refused,” he said.

The West Bengal Minister said that diamond workers from the state were returning from Gujarat, where the diamond industry in Surat has been badly affected by demonetisation.

He also cited the case of Maharashtra, where 70 per cent of the powerloom industry had closed and workers were returning to their home states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

–IANS

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