Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convene a meeting with all the chief ministers to discuss problems faced by the states due to the slashing or stalling of funds for major central schemes and settle the issue of devolution of taxes to states.
She has also called upon the states to “come together” to voice their demands.
“Prime Minister should immediately hold a meeting with all the chief ministers where we can take up the issue. If the Union government takes away a major chunk of the state's earnings and stops financial assistance for running the central schemes then how are we to run the government? ...... All the states should come together and voice our demands. Earlier, we had voiced our concern before the Planning Commission but it has now been disbanded,” said Banerjee while speaking at the conference of women self help groups - Anandadhara under the state panchayat and rural development department at Netaji Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.
Banerjee&’s appeal to discuss Centre-state problems at a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister in Delhi is considered significant since she herself has drawn criticisms from the Opposition for skipping such meetings. Earlier, in December 2014, Modi had chaired a meeting with all the chief ministers in Delhi to discuss the structure, scope and role of the new body, Niti Aayog. But Banerjee had skipped it amidst the stand-off between the BJP and the Trinamul Congress over several issues.
Meanwhile, taking a dig at the Union government for imposing Swatch Bharat cess on taxable services, Banerjee said,” the Union government has imposed 40 percent cess on cleanliness. The states have been asked to broom but the cess would be collected by the Union government.”(the Union government has imposed 0.5 percent Swatch Bharat cess following which service tax rate will go up from 14 per cent to 14.5 per cent on all taxable services).
Mamata also called upon the states to come together to voice their demands.