December 8, 2015
Do not neglect Bengal: WB CM tells Prime Minister
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee with the Prime Minister to India today and will reiterate the demands of the State.
“Bengal should not be deprived and neglected. I raised this issue with the PM,” she said after her meeting. “No state should be neglected. We want every state to prosper. People of Bengal also should not be neglected,” she added.
The Chief Minister said, “Bengal suffered a lot due to Left rule. They incurred heavy debt. We increased our revenues but it is taken away to pay installment.”
“Earlier CMs could raise issues of their State and plan sizes were made at Planning Commission. There should be a full-fledged meet of Niti Ayog where CMs can raise issues of their States,” the CM added.
WB CM also highlighted how Bengal has been ignored in the list of heritage tourism sites by Centre. “Centre has drawn up a list of heritage tourism sites but places like Belur, Dakkhineshwar, Tarapith etc do not feature in it. Bengal is the land of Netaji. Bengal is where Tagore was born, where Ramakrishna spread spirituality. Bengal should not be neglected,” she said.
Bengal deprived of funds
West Bengal is being denied and deprived by the Centre in every sector and has not yet received the financial assistance for flood and drought relief.
The Centre has slashed funds for 37 projects and 50 schemes in the last one year. Earlier, under the ICDS scheme, the State contributed 10 per cent and the Centre 90 per cent. Now it has become the reverse.
The West Bengal Chief minister has been repeatedly asking for funds from the Centre for relief and rehabilitation of flood victims in 12 districts, but no money was received from the Centre.
The State Government had arranged for Rs 1500 crore for flood relief and Rs 3000 crore for developmental work at Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore districts which were under BRGF.
The Centre has also been slashing funds for other projects such as police modernisation and Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan. Bengal has 18,000 SSKs and 2,000 MSKs that are run by the panchayat department. For these, the Centre used to provide 65 per cent of the salary bills of 75,000 teachers engaged in the units. The Centre has now put more burdens on the State by changing the Centre-State share.
In August, the Chief Minister met the Prime Minister and demanded Rs 6,000 crore to tackle the post-flood situation in Bengal.