Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a meeting with Niti Aayog's vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar at Nabanna on Tuesday. Finance minister Amit Mitra and Chief Secretary Malay De were also present in the meeting.
The Chief Minister had detailed discussions with the vice-chairman over certain issues. Kumar entered the state secretariat at around 1 pm and stayed till around 3.15 pm. There were also discussions over various issues to ensure further development.
It may be recalled that it had not been possible for Banerjee to attend the meeting of the sub-group of Chief Ministers, for coordination of policy approach on agriculture sector and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), held on July 12, as she had received the notice in this connection just a couple of days ahead of her administrative review meeting in North Bengal.
However, she had given her suggestions for consideration in the meeting, stating that "all attempts have to be made to increase the income of farmers substantially within the shortest possible time and for this purpose, all the programmes of the government have to be converged on farmers' welfare."
She had also urged for adequate budgetary provision by the Centre to ensure that individual loans for farmers, especially small and marginal ones, are waived. At the same time, minimum support price for procurement of major crops of different states must be declared and an institutional mechanism may be put in place to ensure that the farmers get the minimum support price, besides ensuring Kisan Credit Cards for all farmers with provision of average loan of Rs 2 lakh.
Another crucial meeting was held in the state secretariat on Tuesday between the Finance ministers of Bengal and Punjab. Bengal Finance minister Amit Mitra had a detailed discussion with his counterpart from Punjab Manpreet Singh Badal on Tuesday evening and the meeting continued for more than an hour.