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Krishak Bandhu far better than Centre's PM Kisan scheme: TMC

Krishak Bandhu far better than Centres PM Kisan scheme: TMC
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Kolkata: Comparing the state government's welfare scheme for farmers 'Krishak Bandhu' with the centre-sponsored 'PM Kisan', Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and state minister of state for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya claimed that the BJP was spreading misinformation about state-run schemes. The minister insisted that Krishak Bandhu was far better and more beneficial to farmers than PM Kisan.

She claimed that between 2018-2019, 94 per cent farmers in the state had received installments for Krishak Bandhu in the first 8 months. However, 48 per cent of the farmers didn't receive any installment under PM Kisan during the same period. "The farmers in Bengal have appreciated the initiative (Krishak Bandhu). They are happy and so no farmers' agitation has taken place here," she said. The minister claimed the farmers in Bengal were getting Rs 5,000 per acre, while under PM Kisan they get Rs 1,214 per acre.

In Bengal, 100 per cent farmers—who have applied for the scheme—have received its benefit. "But, only 92 per cent of those who had applied for PM Kisan have received the benefits," she said. In a similar way, Bhattacharya insisted that the BJP had lied about 'Swasthya Sathi' and 'Ayushman Bharat' schemes. Bhattacharya said the BJP leaders had criticised the Swasthya Sathi scheme as it was more beneficial than Ayushman Bharat.

"The Swasthya Sathi scheme was introduced in 2016, two years before Ayushman Bharat. Under Swasthya Sathi, the state government pays 100 per cent of the premium, while under Ayushman Bharat 60 per cent of the premium is paid by the Centre and the state government is required to dish out the remaining 40 per cent. Swasthya Sathi scheme has covered 100 per cent population of Bengal, while Ayushman Bharat will cover only 40 per cent of Indian population," she claimed.

The minister claimed that the state government would spend Rs 2000 crore for Swasthya Sathi in 2021, while the Centre could spend only 50 per cent of the funds allocated for Ayushman Bharat in 2019- 20. "Swasthya Sathi scheme has empowered the women as the cards are being issued in the name of the woman head of the family. The lies and canards will only expose the BJP as the people know what Mamata Banerjee has done for them," she added.

Bhattacharya claimed that people would give a befitting reply to the saffron party for spreading lies at the earliest opportunity. Coming down heavily on the BJP for its failure to give relief to the agitating farmers, she said: "Both our countrymen and the world have seen how the BJP-led Centre tried to foil the farmers' movement by circulating lies against them. Mamata Banerjee was with the farmers and will remain by their side," she said.

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