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Despite tight fiscal deficit, Bengal government's non-stop implementation of social schemes

19 March, 2021 11:57:44
Despite tight fiscal deficit, Bengal government's non-stop implementation of social schemes

When the country and even the state was reeling under the COVID-19 Lockdown and the direct economic fallout of the same, West Bengal government confidently continued with its social welfare schemes and even paid salaries and pension regularly. The state even spent Rs 4,500 crore for coronavirus treatment facilities from its own coffers despite the tight financial situation.

“For every single paise spent I have to be accountable to the public, as it is public money. The state has its own limitations. The Centre has not given any financial help, but that has not stopped us,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in a recent public address. The state government schemes truly benefitted around 9 crore people and most of these schemes are globally recognized including Kanyashree. Another big social support came when the state government gave Free Title Deed or patta for those living on central, state and private lands for years so that they cannot be evicted.

 

The dedicated freight corridor coming up linking Dankuni-Burdwan-Durgapur-Barjora will help create employment opportunities for thousands in south Bengal districts. Around 3,405 Bangiyo Sahayata Kendro (Bengal help centres) were set up by the state government in different blocks to help people get information about different departments for free. Not just pet projects like Kanyashree and Sabuj Sathi, many other projects like Pathashree were successfully implemented where around 16,199 km roads were renovated or re-laid in different parts of the state by December 31, 2020. During the last tenure of the TMC government around 2.5lakh km road were constructed in the state, while the figure was just 65,000-70,000 km under previous Left regime.

Headquarters of the Welfare Board for different backward castes were set up like the cultural board for Bauri community in Bankura and for Matuas at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas. Around 5 crore grant was given to the Bauri board for their development. The government also spent grants on developing an area’s heritage art and culture. For example digitizing the thousand-year-old Sanskrit manuscripts of Bishnupur and special grants for folk artists and singers including their pensions. Despite being cash-strapped due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the West Bengal government did not stop any of the social schemes that have been a huge hit with the masses.  

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