Mamata says PM misrepresented facts about central funds to Bengal

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Tamluk, Mar 4 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday dismissed allegations of misuse of central funds levelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asserting that the state's funding has been halted by the Centre, while demanding an apology to people for the "misleading" remark.

She countered Modi's claim made during his recent trip to Bengal regarding the allocation of Rs 47,000 crore to the state for a housing scheme, stating that between the financial years 2014-15 and 2021-22, the Centre had provided only Rs 29,834 crore, while the state government had contributed Rs 20,000 crore on the same.

"Our PM said he has given Rs 47,000 crore to Bengal and alleged that we have 'consumed' all of it instead of providing services. I am clarifying the calculations now. If anyone has any doubts regarding the calculations, challenge them. There are some schemes for which the Centre provides funds to the state, using the money they collect from us through taxes. From 2014-15 to 2021-22, they (Centre) have given us Rs 29,834 crore," she said while addressing a government distribution programme here.

The chief minister said the Centre under the Awas Yojana scheme has given Rs 29, 834 crore while the state government has contributed Rs 20,000 crore.

"From 2021-22 to 2023-24, they have not released even a penny. Moreover, they alleged that the money given by them was 'consumed' by us and no houses were built. In all, 43 lakh houses have been built with those funds. They should apologise for their lies," she said.

Modi, while addressing a rally in Krishnanagar in Nadia district on Saturday, slammed the TMC government over the issue of corruption and said the Bengal's ruling party has achieved a "mastery" of turning schemes into scams.

Continuing his tirade against the Centre for stopping the funds under 100 days of work in the state, Banerjee said, "The BJP has stopped the funds for the state." "Now, we will be giving work and money. You will get the same amount of money that you used to get for the 100-day work. Only the name of the scheme is Karma Shree. This will work for 50 days. Job card holders will get work," Banerjee said.

The West Bengal government commenced the payment of dues to approximately 30 lakh MGNREGA workers on Monday, amounting to Rs 2,700 crore, pending since March 2022.

The withholding of West Bengal's MGNREGA dues by the Centre has been a focal point in the state's political discourse for the past year.

She further criticised the central government for reducing funds for the ICDS scheme and assured that the state government would continue to provide financial assistance to Asha workers.

Banerjee mentioned that the state would proceed with the Ghatal Master Plan, as the Centre had not assisted for the past 12 years. The Ghatal Master Plan aims to protect the flood-prone district from large-scale destruction due to flooding.

"Elections will come and go, but we will stay, not the babus of Delhi," she said. PTI BSM PNT MNB