Bengal government has incurred a revenue loss of Rs 5,500 crore in the past two months and 82 lakh people lost their jobs in the state due to demonetisation, said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Banerjee on Friday headed the Central Administrative Review meeting held at Town Hall. This is the 146th Administrative Review Meeting held by the Chief Minister in which she had discussed the progress of development work undertaken by all the departments.
Banerjee said: “Around 1.70 crore of the people in the state have seen the worst of times with the demonetisation coming into effect. Farmers, shopkeepers, jute cultivators, tea garden labourers, bidi, gems and jewellery workers have suffered the most. It (demonetisation) had affected the Rabi crop cultivation and I apprehend that it will lead to famine like situation not only in Bengal, but across the country.”
Around 82 lakh people had lost their jobs and another 87 lakh people including Kisan Credit Card (KCC) holders, Self Help Group members including 13 lakh women and cooperative bank account holders faced trouble as they didn’t get credit due to demonetisation.
Even in such a situation, the state government continued with its development work despite the Centre reducing its allocation of fund for different projects, said the Chief Minister, adding: “Rs 41,340 crore out of the planned budget of Rs 57,905 crore has been released. It is Rs 3,000 crore more compared to that of the last year”.
Sources said that after evaluating the “performance” of all the departments, Banerjee praised some of her Cabinet colleagues and also urged some of them to take necessary steps to ensure that all the projects of respective departments get completed or implemented within the stipulated time.
It is learnt that she praised the state Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee, state Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim, state Irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee, Paschimanchal Development minister Shantiram Mahapatra and state Youth Affairs and PWD minister Aroop Biswas for the work undertaken by their departments to implement the ongoing projects.
She urged the state Technical Education minister Asima Patra, the state social child, women and social development minister Sashi Panja to take necessary steps to expedite the ongoing projects, sources said. It is further learnt that she also asked the state Consumer Affairs minister Sadhan Pande to look into the matter of excessive advertisement by his department.
There was also a discussion in Friday’s administrative review meeting with the state Excise minister, Amit Mitra, on the recent incidents in which some died after consuming spurious liquor, sources said.
The state government has also introduced a direct communication system between officials at the sub-divisional level and the Chief Minister’s Office.
In case the officials in the district need to convey any message directly, then they can send SMSs to a cell phone number provided to them. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made the announcement after the administrative meeting in Town Hall.