PM launches Rs 16,000-cr steel unit in Burnpur; Centre-West Bengal ties thaw

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the Central government and states should put shoulder to shoulder and project an image of Team India abroad. He said this after inaugurated a Rs 16,000-crore modernisation project of IISCO at Burnpur, around 180km from Kolkata.

The PM and chief minister of a state form a team as far as development of a state is concerned, he said, adding such a team is essential to take India forward.

“Unity is our strength. We (read Centre and state) have to work according to the Constitution. The Central government and the state both will work together. If India develops, so will Bengal,” said West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said. She restated the collaborative developmental efforts she adopted, leaving her earlier combative stance vis-à-vis the Centre.

In his speech, Modi said that “It was good to hear the CM say that the Centre and state must have to work together. We have to unite so as to make the country stronger.” Pointing out the need for value addition inside the Indian borders, Modi  said, “How can we export iron and import steel. If we have iron, we have to make steel here.”

Modi said as per 14 Finance Commission recommendations, his government took the initiative to retain 38 percent of the pool of resources and transfer 62 percent to the states. Lashing out at the previous government, he said, “There was no dearth of scams then. If it one day it was coal scam, the next day was some other. We have stopped all that. We have started auctions of coal blocks and made sure the money went to the coal bearing states and not fill the coffers in Delhi,” said Modi.

“Within a year of our regime, IMF, World, Moody’s are saying that India has become one of the fastest growing nations of the world, Modi said, albeit proudly, a few days ahead of the first anniversary of his government in Delhi.

“Bengal will progress and help India in the direction of development,” said Modi, addressing the workers of IISCO. Present at t

he Burnpur function was local MP Babul Supriyo, and a host of Trinamool Congress leaders.

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