The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dues drive follows Asim cost-cutting

Calcutta, Oct. 10: The cash-strapped government intends to raise an additional Rs 450 crore by realising non-tax dues during the current fiscal to tide over the financial crisis.

The amount will be raised from the cess on petrol and diesel, increased stamp duty, hike in tariff for tourist lodges as well as Banga Bhavan, fines from traffic rule violations, money from bus and excise permits and veterinary service charges among other things.

Finance minister Asim Dasgupta also said that the government wanted to bring down the annual establishment cost by Rs 750 crore. “I have directed the departmental secretaries to furnish detailed reports on the austerity drive by the 15th of every month. Those who fail to comply will be firmly dealt with and the grants to the departments concerned will be stopped,” he said.

Dasgupta added that the state would plead with the Centre to reduce the interest on Central assistance from 12 to 8 per cent at the chief ministers’ meeting with the Prime Minister in New Delhi on October 18.

“We had to raise the salary of the state government employees to keep parity with the hike in the payment of the Union government employees. This is not the problem of the Bengal government alone. All other states are also facing similar problems,” Dasgupta said.

Woman run over

A woman was run over at Raghunathpur on VIP Road around 9.15 pm in the second fatal mishap in the area in two days. Angry residents blocked the avenue for more than half-an-hour.

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