February 18, 2014
WB CM refutes Opposition`s charges with examples of good governance
Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee announced that the state is planning a separate tariff structure for this section of the society hinting at relief for the poor on power consumption. “From 2014, we will be able to create a separate tariff structure for the poor,“ she said at the assembly while replying to the debate on the Hon`ble Governor`s address on the fourth day of the budget session.
She said: “We have been able to save Rs 1500 crore in the power sector. Naturally, we will pass this on to the consumers.” This would save unit cost by 5 to 10 paisa per unit. “Very soon we will be able to go in for power branding and sell excess power to states where there is a deficit,” she added.
The Chief Minister also countered the opposition on the `rise` in number of rapes in the state by informing that it has actually gone down. She cited figures of National Crime Records Bureau to back her claims. “While the number of rape cases in 2009, 2010 and 2011 in the state stood at 2336, 2311 and 2363 respectively, it dipped significantly to 2046 in 2012 and further dropped in 2013 (till November) to 1590,“ the Chief Minister said quoting from NCRB data.
She drew the attention of the house towards the fact that while similar crimes recorded in 2012 in Kolkata were 68 that in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore stood at 585, 232, 94 and 90 respectively. “Before pointing fingers at us, the Left Front should take note of these figures. I do not want to condone a single rape, they are heinous offences, but because of widespread police reforms like forming five new commissionerates and engaging 40,000 new constables, 6000 home guards and 1.30 lakh civic police personnel, we have been able to check it,“ the Chief Minister said.
Since there were no opposition members present during her speech, she said, “Look at those empty seats… people will stop sending them to the house completely one day and we will fill those seats up with true representatives of the people.“ She criticised the Congress government at the Centre terming the vote-on-account a `gimmick` before the polls.
The Chief Minister also rued the fact that her government was bleeding heavily just to pay interests on the huge debt passed on to her bequeathed down to her by the previous government. “We earned Rs 21,000 crore in 2011; that was simply washed away to repay debts. In 2012 we had to give away Rs 32,000 crores and now Rs 28,000 crores. Why should we due to the wrongdoings of the Left?“ she asked, adding that of the promises that her government made after coming to power, 59 per cent projects are underway and 38 per cent of these are nearing completion.
She blamed the Left Front for the chit fund culture saying that it reared its ugly head in the state in the 80s. “We have documental evidence against the Left Front on this. There are many who should have been behind bars for their association with chit funds. Instead of crying wolf, we have formed a commission to inquire into the scam and have started paying the sufferers,“ she said. The fact that the opposition has been crying for a CBI inquiry into the chit fund fiasco, came in for severe criticism from the Chief Minister. “In the past, CBI inquiries have been instituted in Singur, Nandigram and Gyaneshwari disasters and we have seen the results,“ she said adding that the Left Front and Congress are partners in crime in the state.
She informed the House that there has been a sharp growth in agro production in the state and this year we have produced 25 lakh metric tons of food grains. The state government has also distributed 23 lakh Kisan credit cards to help farmers. 176 new markets for farmers are coming up of which work has started in 107 already. “We are right on top when it comes to NREGA spending and have achieved a record 107% and Bankura has been adjudged the best district in the country. We have also been able to build 16,000 kilometres of roads in the remotest of places and have already given patta to 1.10 lakh landless people. In MSME our spending has been 105 per cent,“ she said.
She drew the attention of the House towards three new medical colleges, 37 new critical care units in state hospitals, 36 neo-natal units and 60 fair-price shops. “We have employed 10,000 doctors, nurses and other health service personnel, started six universities, 30 government and 14 aided colleges. Can the Left Front even imagine this?“ she asked.
She informed the House about a new Sukanya project for the girl child. Four police stations have been given the responsibility of training girls of four schools in martial arts as a pilot project. She also said that the state would launch `Biswa Bangla` formally on February 18 by starting a store at the airport where all the popular brands of the state like `Sarpuria` from Krishnagar, `Monohora` from Hooghly, `Mihidana' from Burdwan, `Chhana bora` from Murshidabad and others will be showcased.