July 12, 2014
Centre yet to pay funds worth Rs 8000 crore for rural development in the State: Panchayat Minister
The Bengal government will write to theCentre demanding the “immediate release” of “due funds” worth Rs 8,000 crorefor projects in rural areas.
PanchayatMinister Mr Subrata Mukherjee siad that the funds would be required for ongoingprojects such as construction of rural roads and for the payment ofbeneficiaries under the 100-day job scheme.
“Wehave been demanding the release of funds for ongoing rural developmentprojects. We have not been able to complete many projects for lack of funds. Iwill write to the Union rural development ministry next week. There is aconspiracy to hurt us,” Mr Mukherjee said. “Several projects are lyingincomplete as we have not been able to pay contractors,” he added.
Thepanchayat minister said the state government had paid from its own coffers tocontinue some of the schemes. Criticising the Union budget, he said the Centrehad ignored the needs of rural India. “Allocations for all projects (for ruralareas) have been curtailed. Rural development will be hit badly by the Centre`sproposals. Funds allocated for schemes can only be utilised for pilotprojects,” the panchayat minister said.
Referringto the Centre`s plan to construct 8,000 km of rural roads in the country thisfiscal, Mr Mukherjee said that in Bengal alone, 12,000 km of such roads werebeing laid. “The hike in the allocation for the 100-day rural job scheme isonly Rs 1,000 crore. This is not going to be enough since Bengal alone wouldneed an additional Rs 2,500 crore this year,” the minister said.
MrMukherjee also criticised the Centre`s decision to create an Allahabad-Haldiawaterway for commercial navigation on the Ganga. “Kolkata port is dead andHaldia port is dying. Unless steps are taken to revive them, the plan will notsucceed,” he said.