Days after the Union Budget was presented in Parliament, the Trinamool Congress(TMC) government hit out at the BJP-led Central Government while presenting the budget in the State Assembly on Monday. State finance minister Amit Mitra said they are being denied funds from the Centre. “Rs.50,486 crore overall is being denied to us. This includes Rs.11,213 crore in 2019-20, Rs.37,973 crore in grants which is our right and Rs.1300 crore in GST compensation,” said Amit Mitra. However, the figure rose to a whopping Rs.80,900 crore as the finance minister also mentioned that Rs.38,000 crore was denied earlier.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressed the media after the budget session also spoke in a similar tone. “We don’t get close to Rs.11 lakh crore from the Centre. Every year we have to repay a loan of Rs.50 crore,” said Mamata Banerjee.
She also hit out at the Centre for introducing schemes based on religious politics. “All of the Central Government’s schemes are around religion, instead of thinking about what can benefit people. Did Narendra Modi come out with a populist budget in 2019?” added Mamata while referring to the Lok Sabha elections the previous year.
The TMC government has allocated funds of Rs.2,55,677 crore for the 2020-21 financial year. Of the new schemes, Mamata announced the ‘Hasir Alo’ scheme under which charges for electricity will be levied to poor domestic consumers with a quarterly income of up to 75 units. The government has announced Rs.200 crore for the scheme which is expected to benefit 35 lakh poor households.
The ‘Ma Maati Manush’ government also announced the ‘Jai Johar Prakalpa’ scheme under which senior citizens under the SC/ST will be given a pension of Rs.1000 per month, to those who are not under any other pension scheme.
Another highlight in the budget was the Government’s decision to waiver the agricultural income tax to the tea gardens for the next two financial years of 2020-21 and 2021-22, keeping in mind the dismal conditions of tea gardens across West Bengal.
The TMC government has been grappling with a brain drain from the State, with bleak employment opportunities for the youth. Keeping the 2021 Assembly elections as the main focus, the budget conclusion mentions that the economic development of West Bengal remains undeterred despite the ‘dismal state of the Indian economy.’ The State Government also boasts of generating 9 lakh 11 thousand employment opportunities while Mamata also mentioned that unemployment has reduced by 40%.