West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, on 4 January, walked out of the pre-budget meet, saying there is financial emergency in the country and budget has become meaningless.
"I am saying this with heavy heart that I walked out of the pre-budget meet after my presentation, in a protest in the appropriate manner that democracy deserves. I primarily spoke on demonetisation and what it is doing to the economy as the perspective of the budget. This is financial crisis of derailing the economy. The budget has become relatively meaningless because a part of budget has already been delivered by the Prime Minister for the first time in the history of India," Mitra told the media.
He further said the country's economic growth has been sacrificed and Rs.1.26 lakh crores have been sacrificed in transaction cost in 50 days, according to research.
Mitra also stressed upon the problem being faced by the small and medium enterprises and unorganised sectors post demonetisation drive while asserting that the Central government is not bothered about the issues.
"The diamond workers have come back to our state from Gujarat. In Maharashtra, there are 24 lakh powerlooms, out of which 12 lakhs have been closed today and the workers from there have been gone to their state. Leather industry in West Bengal has completely collapsed. So, small and medium enterprises, unorganised sectors are starving. The poor workers have no way but to go back home and they add to the liability of their home rather than asset," Mitra told media.
"Last year there was 11 per cent growth and this year it is growth of negative two per cent which means Bengal has lost 13 per cent of potential taxes. 11 per cent which we have made has been extinguished. States are today suffering with 30 to 40 per cent decline in the budget," he added.