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Firhad Hakim clears air over disbursal of funds

Kolkata: State Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim on Wednesday reiterated that his department makes no discrimination when it comes to disbursal of funds to the municipal corporations or the municipalities in the state for development work.
"We are constantly working for the development of the state and for this we give equal importance to all the municipal corporations irrespective of whichever party is in charge of a municipal body or municipality," Hakim said after holding a meeting with the Mayor of Siliguri and councillors of Left Front at his chamber at Writers' Building on Wednesday.
Responding to the allegation made by Siliguri Mayor Ashok Bhattcharjee that Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) that is ruled by the Left has been getting lesser funds in comparison to municipalities like Mirik and Haldibari, the minister said: "They are saying this for the sake of politics. I would ask him to submit the details in this regard before making such irresponsible statement before the media."
He also maintained that in February during the budget session in the state legislative assembly, Bhattacharjee had said that Rs 1200 crore of funds are pending for Siliguri. "However, he said pending funds stand at Rs 300 crore today," he added.
The Mamata Banerjee government, according to the minister believes in all round development of the state.
Thus, funds for development are allocated keeping this in mind and there is no party discrimination in this regard.
Bhattacharjee along with 20 Left councillors of SMC and Left Front legislative party leader Sujan
Chakraborty was part of the delegation that met the minister.
After the meeting, Bhattacharjee alleged that the government is following a step motherly attitude while disbursing funds for SMC but said the minister has given them a patient hearing and have assured them of releasing funds at a faster pace.
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