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Political difference won’t affect Bengal development: Jaitley

Kolkata: Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s view that the country would not grow unless the eastern states prospered, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said political differences between BJP and Trinamool Congress will not come in the way of development of West Bengal.

In the state capital here to inaugurate Bandhan Bank, the senior member of the BJP-led NDA Cabinet also lamented the “obsolete policies” of the past which, he said, should be done away with.

“Political differences will continue. But for the development of the state, that will not matter,” Jaitley said as he repeated the Prime Minister’s call for increased economic activity in the eastern states.

“Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal need more economic activity,” he said, adding that West Bengal and Odisha have mineral and other natural resources, which are the fundamentals for growth.

“Breaking with some of the policies of the past and realising the potential is important,” he said, assuring that the Centre and the states would cooperate towards that end.

Jaitley also said that West Bengal, like other coal- producing states, would receive benefits arising from the coal auction and would have the fullest support of the Centre.

Referring to the manufacturing sector in West Bengal, he said at another event that the state government would have to be manufacturing-friendly like the governments of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

He also felt that the industry set-up in West Bengal needed to be incentivised.