Kolkata: Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal invited West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata…
Kolkata(Express News Service): Attacking the Centre for not releasing funds for state projects after announcing them with fanfare, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday threatened to launch an agitation. While addressing mediapersons after an administrative review meeting at state secretariat Nabanna, Mamata said: “Theoretically, they (central leaders) keep on saying that they have given Rs 30,000 crore to the state, which even makes headlines in the media. But in effect, they have not given us even 30 paise. Media should show that as well.” “If they do not listen to our requests, I will have to go to Delhi and hold a bigger movement there.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after an administrative review meeting at Nabanna in Howrah on Thursday. (Source: Express photo by Subham Dutta)
Our tolerance levels are breaking down,” he added. Mamata pointed out that not only national highways, but also social schemes like Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) are suffering as a result. “Funds have reduced in 55 schemes. As many as 39 schemes have been stopped while they have restructured so many schemes. Unfortunately, it is true that the states are suffering as a result of this. How will we do our work?” she asked.
On the deplorable condition of national highways in many parts of the state like Ranaghat, Malda, North-24 Parganas, Jhargram and Krishnagar, Mamata said: “We are disappointed with NHAI authorities. National highways at Malda, Krishnanagar and other parts of North Bengal are in a pathetic condition. Millions of people use these highway everyday.” “We have met, requested and spoke to them over the phone but to no avail. Maintenance of highways is the prerogative of the Centre but we have even done patchwork on these highways from our own funds,” she claimed, while adding that if the Centre was unable to take care of the national highways, it can give the money to the states who will do the needful.
Mamata said that during the administrative meeting, where all district magistrates were present, the DMs said ICDS money was not being released which is denying benefits to pregnant women, children and economically- weaker sections. “We don’t know what the budget is. If you don’t know your salary, how will you spend it?” Mamata said, adding that earlier bodies like the Planning Commission used to take care of such things. “Now, NITI Aayog is there. We have asked them to have exclusive meetings with us,” she added. She also hit out at the nationalised banks, saying they are not co-operating with states and not sanctioning loans to farmers and self-help groups. “Farmers are not getting loans under Kisan Credit Scheme. Small businessmen are also not getting business loans,” she said while reminding the banks that they had done “a lot of business from the deposits of the state government”. Praising the Trinamool Congress government’s achievements, Mamata said that during 2014-15, alloted funds worth 99.2 per cent have been spent by various departments. “In some departments, the ratio is as high as 110 per cent,” she claimed.