'We achieved all-round development in Bengal'
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that despite a serious financial crunch and non-cooperation by the Centre, the Bengal government has performed far better than other states in carrying out various development projects. She was speaking at a programme organised on the completion of six years of her government at Nabanna where she released a book on the developmental works done by her government.
"The Center has been taking away Rs 40 crore from the state's exchequer. Despite this challenge, the state government has performed exceptionally well in carrying out all the projects. I don't think that any other state has performed what we have done in last six years, fighting various odds," Banerjee said.
The Chief Minister also presented statistics showing how her government has witnessed a surge in economic and infrastructural development. The per capita income of the state grew at a rate more than double that of the national rate.
She said that the gross state domestic product (GSDP) of Bengal has doubled in the past year years. Investment in agriculture and allied sectors grew by five and a half times and expenditure on the plan sector witnessed a four-fold increase. Online tax collection has arisen from Rs 21,000 crore to 42,000 crore in the last few years.
Banerjee said the growth in agriculture and allied sectors in Bengal has reached 5.55 per cent whereas the national growth in this sector remains at 1.1 per cent. Bengal's growth in Industry too is 10.59 above the national growth rate of 7.3 per cent.
She also mentioned that planned expenditure has touched Rs 54,069 crore in 2015-16 which in 2010-11 stood at 14,615 crore. Capital expenditure has also increased by a huge margin as it recorded Rs 15,947 crore in 2015-16 from Rs 2,226 crore in 2010-11. West Bengal has secured the first position in various sectors including the skill development, micro small and medium enterprises and bagged the Krishi Karman award from the Centre four consecutive times.
Banerjee on Saturday inaugurated 53 air-conditioned ambulances procured by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) through the financial assistance of various Trinamool Congress MPs. These ambulances will be handed over to the police and also to villages. On the completion of six years of the government, various programmes will be organised at the block level for one month, exhibiting various state government projects.
To meet the crisis of blood in various blood banks, especially at this time of the year, around 16,000 policemen have donated blood. Around 50,000 Trinamool Congress workers too will donate blood till June 10 which will immensely help overcome the crisis.
"Blood is a very essential thing and there is always a crisis during the scorching summer days. Hence, I urged the police and party members to come forward to organise camps. I am grateful to them as altogether 66,000 pouches will soon be available in different blood banks across the state," Banerjee maintained.
She said that around 81 lakh youth have been given employment, 40 lakh girls have been getting the benefits of Kanyashree projects while more than 8 crore people in Bengal are getting rice at Rs 2 per kg. She also flagged off air-conditioned buses which will ply on the Kolkata-Suri and Kolkata-Bolpur routes.