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Mamata announces release of Rs 8,700 crore

Mamata announces release of Rs 8,700 crore

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced the release of additional funds to the tune of Rs 8,700 crore for expenditure in core and infrastructure sectors despite incurring a revenue loss of Rs 19,254 crore due to the Covid situation.

The announcement of releasing additional funds for infrastructure development comes after the state government ensured delivery of benefits of different state-run schemes to 54.72 percent of the 71 lakh applicants through the Duare Sarkar programme in a record time, with the Chief Minister terming the outreach programme as a model for the entire world.

Till date, more than 1.23 crore people visited more than 11,056 camps across the state and 71 lakh of them had applied at Duare Sarkar camps to get benefits out of any of the dozen schemes, including Swasthya Sathi, Joy Johar, Kanyashree, Rupashree, Sikhashree, Aikashree, Krishak Bandhu and Manabik. Applications of 38.44 lakh applicants have already been processed or they have received the benefits while the remaining are ongoing.

For making Duare Sarkar a success, the Chief Minister on Monday announced a one-time Rs 5,000 additional tiffin allowance for the concerned employees who are working relentlessly from December 1 and will continue to do so till January 25 when the fourth phase of the programme culminates.

The state government has received 42.41 lakh applications for Swasthya Sathi cards while 4.72 lakh of them have already received them.

Out of Rs 8,700 crore additional funds, Rs 1,000 crore each has been released for the Panchayats and Rural Development and Public Health Engineering that is implementing the Jal Swapna project. The highest allocation is for the state Public Works Department (PWD) — Rs 1,500 crore.

The Chief Minister announced an additional amount of Rs 700 crore, Rs 800 crore and Rs 600 crore for Urban Development and Municipal Affairs, Irrigation and Waterways and Health departments respectively. The allocation for the Health department is to carry out Covid-related developments and other health infrastructures apart from Swasthya Sathi. Paschimanchal Unnayan, North Bengal Development and the Sunderbans Affairs have received Rs 100 crore each while Rs 2,800 crore has been released for all other departments.

At the same time, in the 2020-21 fiscal, the state government's budget allocation is Rs 24,255 crore for beneficiary-related schemes, including Jai Bangla, Kanyashree, Rupashree, Khadya Sathi, Swasthya Sathi, etc. The amount was Rs 15,800 crore in the last fiscal. So far, the state government has already spent Rs 9,000 crore in this sector.

As per the Bengal government's statement, the state's exchequer witnessed a loss of Rs 19,254 crore till date and the anticipated loss for this fiscal is Rs 25000 crore (due to the Covid situation), including the shortfall due to low devolution of central tax which is expected to be Rs 17,000 crore.

Despite incurring such a huge loss, Banerjee on Monday announced an increase in incentive for Prani Bandhu and Prani Mitra to Rs 3,000 per month from Rs 1,500. Similarly, the same for Village Resource Persons (VRPs) has also been increased to Rs 5,200.

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