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Centre should clear Bengal's dues to effectively tackle COVID-19: Mamata


KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked the Centre to clear all financial dues of the state to help it fight the COVID-19 pandemic effectively.

Banerjee, during an online programme where Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated new testing facilities in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, also sought the creation of a separate fund for the combating the disease.

She also said that the money from the state's disaster relief fund was being used for rehabilitation work after cyclone Amphan.

"I would request the central government to clear the financial dues of the state immediately. We are yet to get our dues of Rs 53,000 crore. If we utilise all money from the state disaster relief fund for post-cyclone restoration works, how are we supposed to fight the pandemic," the CM said during the online programme.

Cyclone Amphan had struck West Bengal on may 20, leaving behind a trail of destruction "There is a need for a separate fund to fight the pandemic. I would request you (the prime minister) to look into it," she added.