April 6, 2014
Bengal model better than Gujarat – WB CM explains why
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee on April 5 used the medium of Facebook to refute Gujarat model as the ideal for the country. While doing so, she highlighted the fiscal and social parameters where Bengal has an edge over Gujarat. The Bengal CM thus claimed that the country should follow the Bengal model.
Ms. Banerjee has in her favour Planning Commission data that shows Bengal is ahead of Gujarat when compared in terms of infant mortality rate, maternal mortality ratio, school dropout rate (Class I to V) and household access to drinking water. Bengal is also ahead of Gujarat in terms of disbursement in the social sector. “We focused on providing our people food, housing, drinking water, access to education and reliable health care, among others. So you can see, we deliver what we commit, even if we are placed in a disadvantageous situation,” said WB CM.
The Bengal CM also held that her government has registered a faster revenue growth than Gujarat. “The revenue growth in Bengal has been 31.55%, when it is 15.77% in Gujarat,” the CM said.
She also blamed the previous Left Front government for fiscal woes. “Our new government in Bengal had started its journey in May 2011 with a staggering loan burden of more than Rs 2 lakh crore left behind by the previous regime. Any financial adversity of such magnitude puts a state under severe strain to carry forward its development agenda compared to any other state, not similarly placed in terms of loan burden,” said Ms. Banerjee.
Another major achievement that the Chief Minister touted as Bengal model is the restoration of peace and normalcy in the trouble-torn Maoist infested Jangalmahal areas and the hills of Darjeeling. “Our Jangalmahal approach has been accepted as a model in the country,” the CM said. She also said that her government has been able to bring down the loss of man-days from 78 lakhs in the previous Left regime to zero now.