The Central Government has rejected allegations of West Bengal Government on discrimination in rural development schemes. While holding an important press conference in Bihar, Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Shri Giriraj Singh said that during the tenure of the present government, the West Bengal government has been allocated more money for rural development schemes than the UPA government.
Shri Giriraj Singh informed that while West Bengal got only Rs 58 thousand crore during the UPA government, the Ministry of Rural Development under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given more than Rs 2 lakh crore to West Bengal for development in the last 9 years. This shows the commitment of the Prime Minister of the country towards the development of West Bengal. The Union Rural Development Minister said that under schemes like MNREGA, more than Rs 54 thousand crore were given to West Bengal in the last 9 years, whereas during the time of UPA this figure was only Rs 14,900 crore. He said that under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, while only Rs 5,400 crore was spent during the UPA government, more than double Rs 11,000 crore has been spent in the Modi government. Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, only Rs 4,400 crore was spent during the UPA government, whereas the Modi government gave Rs 30 thousand crore to Bengal. The Union Minister said that today under NRLM, the bank linkage of Didis of West Bengal is worth about Rs 74 thousand crores, whereas during the time of UPA it was only Rs 600 crores. Apart from this, the present government gave approximately Rs 7 thousand crore under NSAP, whereas during the time of UPA this figure was half of it. Under the Finance Commission, Rs 25 thousand crores were released to West Bengal, whereas during the UPA, only Rs 3,200 crores were allocated.
The Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister said that while 111 crore man-days were created under MNREGA between 2006-14, 240 crore man-days were created after 2014. While only 15 lakh houses were built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana during the UPA, the Modi government gave houses to about 45 lakh poor people in West Bengal. Similarly, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, only 13 thousand kilometers of roads were built in the UPA government, while 21 thousand kilometers of roads were built in the Modi government. Whereas till 2014, only 48 thousand Didis were associated with SHG, today with the help of the Central Government, more than 11 lakh Didis have been associated with SHG. This is a great example of women empowerment.
Shri Giriraj Singh said, “Modi government has been committed to accountability and responsibility from the very beginning and worked for the development of those who truly deserve it and not for anyone’s self interest. The aim of Modi government has been Antyodaya and development. Since the government has started the campaign of giving money directly into the accounts of the beneficiaries, lakhs of middlemen’s shops have been closed.”
The Union Minister said that West Bengal government issued 25 lakh fake MNREGA job cards due to which crores of government money was siphoned off. He said that the Government of India was continuously exposing the rigging in the MNREGA and Housing Scheme going on in West Bengal, but the State Government failed to take appropriate action on it. The Central Government also sent a monitoring team, but no timely action was taken on their report by the State Government. He said that the State was asked by the Ministry on several occasions to submit a comprehensive action taken report, but no action was taken by the State Government. Finally, the State was informed that non-submission of ATR in time could also lead to withholding of funds under MNREGA Act 2005. After this, an ATR report, protecting the culprits, was presented by the state government. When questions were asked, the state government was also unable to answer on the issues of corruption. Shri Giriraj Singh said that the West Bengal Government is not at all cooperating with the Central Government in the investigation.
The Union Rural Development Minister said that even under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, complaints were received about the state government changing the name of the central scheme to Bangla Awas Yojana. Apart from this, eligible families were deprived of houses and party workers were allotted houses in violation of the guidelines. He said that the loss that the West Bengal government has caused to the poor by denying their rights can prove to be harmful for the country in the future. That is why the government allocated the target of 11.3 lakh houses under Awas+ only on the condition that the state will allot houses only to the eligible families following the guidelines of the scheme, but again several complaints were received from many Members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies and general public regarding serious irregularities in the implementation of the scheme including selection of ineligible families by the West Bengal Government. In light of this, ATR was demanded from the state government, but proper explanation was not given by the state government.
Shri Giriraj Singh said that today the Modi government has broken the syndicates that have been running in West Bengal for years and has dealt a severe blow to corruption, so it is obvious that where government schemes have brought happiness to lakhs-crores homes, the people associated with the syndicate have also become angry and as per their habit even today they want to avail the benefits of public welfare schemes of the government for their people and are upset when they fail, so they have resorted to various types of false propaganda to tarnish the image of the government.. He said that if the West Bengal government had helped the Central government in taking the welfare schemes of the government to the poor families in the right way, then West Bengal would have been writing a new story of development today.