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Bengal government carrying on social welfare schemes despite tight fiscal condition: Mamata Banerjee


BANKURA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said the West Bengal government has not stopped its social welfare schemes and has paid salaries and pension regularly despite tight fiscal condition due to very little financial help from the Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state has spent Rs 4500 crore for coronavirus treatment facilities from it's own coffers despite the tight financial situation, she said at an administrative review meeting here.

"For every single paise spent I have to be accountable to the public, as it is public money. The state has it's own limitations. The Centre has not given any financial help, but that has not stopped us."

"We are giving salary, pension to our staff regularly in the COVID-19 situation. Of the 10 crore population, not less than 9 crores have benefitted in some way or the other by the numerous globally recognized social welfare schemes of our government. What we have managed despite the COVID situation in terms of continuing social welfare projects is unprecedented," she claimed.

Referring to the recent visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to a tribal household in the district "as an attempt to do politics."

She said, "They (BJP) had come to do politics. (Shah) Took meal from a five star hotel, stayed at the tribal house for some time to have the meal and then left. They did nothing for the treatment of the ailing girl of the household".

The TMC workers have visited the girl's residence and the district administration has arranged for her treatment, Banerjee said.

The Trinamool Congress supremo had on Monday described Shah's visit as a "show off" and had claimed that the food items served to the BJP leader were cooked at a five star hotel.

Informed of the eviction of people from railway land near Bankura town, Banerjee asked the district authorities to ensure that there is no forcible eviction.

"The district magistrate and superintendent of police will ensure that people living on such land are not harassed by anyone. We have given free title deed for those living on central, state and private lands for years so that they cannot be evicted," she said.

She said a dedicated freight corridor was coming up linking Dankuni-Burdwan-Durgapur-Barjora which will help creating employment opportunities for thousands in several south Bengal districts.

Banerjee expressed displeasure over a large number of cases lodged with programme implementation and public grievances cell.

She said 3405 'Bangiyo Sahayata Kendro' (Bengal help centres) have already been set up by the state government in different blocks to help people get information about different departments for free.

The state, she said, had discontinued the earlier central project in which one had to pay money for information.

She said under the Pathashree project of the state, 16,199 km roads will be renovated or relaid in different parts of the state by December 31, 2020, by different implementing agencies like the panchayat, urban affairs, and PWD.

Banerjee said during the tenure of her government, 2.5 lakh km road had been constructed in the state, while the figure was 65,000-70,000 km under the previous regime.

She said the headquarters of the welfare board for different backward castes will be set up at a place where the concerned community members are in larger numbers.

The headquarters of the cultural board for Bauri community will be set up in Bankura and for Matuas at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district, she said.

The chief minister announced Rs five crore grant for the Bauri board.

She complimented the Bankura district administration for achieving the average of 1353 COVID-19 tests daily but urged them to ramp up the testing figure.

Banerjee asked chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, who was present, to hasten the government project to digitise the thousand years old Sanskrit manuscripts of Bishnupur.