The West Bengal authorities has elevated its expenditure on social welfare and development schemes by an additional Rs 8,700 crore, chief minister Mamata Banerjee introduced on Monday afternoon.
“The government spent Rs 20,212 crore in 2020-21 on development expenditure apart from the beneficiary schemes. But after witnessing the demand for such schemes at the camps being held for the ‘duware sarkar’ (government at the doorstep) programme, we have decided to release an additional Rs 8,700 crore over the next one month,” Banerjee mentioned at a press convention on the state secretariat.
The cash, she mentioned, will likely be allotted to varied departments, starting from panchayat to well being.
In the final monetary yr, the overall expenditure on beneficiary schemes was Rs 15,000 crore however within the present fiscal it has gone up to Rs 24,255 crore, she mentioned.
Banerjee mentioned, “The ‘duware sarkar’ programme, which started on December 1, will continue till January 25. In all, 20,000 camps will be held in four phases. It’s a new model in India and the world.”
“Senior bureaucrats, nodal officers and volunteers are working till midnight every day. Because of their hard work, 1.12 crore people have attended 11,056 camps till December 20. This is commendable,” mentioned Banerjee.
“This is a unique project. For example, out of 7.14 lakh applications we received for the Khadya Sathi (food security) programme, 3.18 lakh people have already been included. For the Swasthya Sathi (healthcare programme) 27.13 lakh applications out of 42 lakh applications have been approved,” mentioned the chief minister.
Similar work is being executed to assist individuals underneath schemes akin to pension for farmers, pension for tribal individuals and stipend for the handicapped, woman college students, intercourse employees, Anganwadi employees, people artists and even members of the third gender and the LGBT neighborhood.
“The volunteers working at these camps will be also given a tiffin allowance of Rs 5,000 each for two months, in addition to a certificate of recognition,” introduced the chief minister.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was fast to react.
“The chief minister’s announcement made it clear that she treats people only as vote bank. The TMC government does not have a human face. It works only for political benefits,” mentioned Samik Bhattacharya, chief spokesperson of the BJP state unit.
Bhattacharya additionally questioned the info dished out by the federal government, saying the statistics on the state’s healthcare scheme don’t match with the bottom actuality one notices at hospitals.
“The state’s debt burden now stands at almost Rs 4,90,000 crore. That is something the next government will have to face,” mentioned Bhattacharya,
“Duware sarkar will become a global model for its failure,” he quipped.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar too known as a press convention and questioned the state authorities’s refusal to implement Central welfare schemes.
“In spite of writing letters to the government asking why are farmers in Bengal being deprived of the annual sum of Rs 8,000 that the Centre gives, the government didn’t reply,” mentioned Dhankhar.
“After this, the chief minister wrote to the Union agriculture minister. I was shocked to read it. She wrote that this money should be given to the state government. Why should that be done when the beneficiaries are getting the money directly in their accounts across the country?” mentioned Dhankhar.
Incidentally, Banerjee mentioned that on Monday she wrote one other letter to the Union agriculture minister making the identical request. “The state is the implementing authority for all Central schemes. We will give this money to farmers. Why should the BJP reap political benefits?” she informed reporters on the secretariat.