mamatabenerjeePratik Bharti,


KOLKATA:  Attacking the Centre for not releasing funds for state projects after announcing them with fanfare, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today threatened to launch an agitation.

“The Centre keeps on beating drums about their schemes as if it is money from auction…..Rs.30,000 crore, 40,000 crore – and as if people are getting the money. Funds don’t reach the state governments,” Ms Banerjee said to reporters after an administrative review meeting at the state secretariat.

“You (media) make it the headline and people also become happy but a wrong message goes to the people. You don’t write when the money doesn’t come. To get even 20 paise we have to struggle very hard. I don’t have trust anymore (on the Centre),” she said.

Threatening to launch an agitation against the Centre in Delhi, Ms Banerjee said, “Our tolerance levels are breaking down”.

The Chief Minister pointed out that not only national highways, but also social schemes like Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) are suffering as a result.

“Funds have reduced in 55 schemes. 39 schemes have been closed while they have restructured so many schemes. Unfortunately, it is true that the states are suffering as a result of this. How will we do our work?,” she said.

On the deplorable condition of National Highways in many parts of the state like Ranaghat, Malda, North 24 Parganas, Jhargram and Krishnagar, Ms Banerjee said, “I have personally complained so many times. My throat has dried after saying this over and over again.”

She threatened to launch an agitation if the demands are not met.

“Otherwise, I will have to start agitation in Delhi,” she said adding that if the Centre is unable to take care of the national highways they can give the money to the states who will do the needful.

During the administrative meeting where district magistrates were also present, she said that all DMs were saying that ICDS money was also not being released which is denying benefits to pregnant women, children and economically-weaker sections.

“We don’t know what the budget is. If you don’t know your salary how will you spend it?” the chief minister said adding that earlier bodies like the Planning Commission used to take care of such things.

“Now NITI Aayog is there. We have asked them to have exclusive meetings with us.”

She also hit out at the nationalized banks, saying they are not co-operating with states and not sanctioning loans to farmers and self-help groups.

“They are giving very less loans under KisanCREDIT CARDS….The non-cooperation of banks is too much,” she said.

Praising the Trinamool Congress government’s achievements, she said that during the year 2014-15, alloted funds worth 99.2 per cent have been spent by various departments.

“In some departments the ratio is as high as 110 per cent. This is the beauty,” she said.


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