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Mamata presents Vote on Account for Rs 2.99 lakh cr

Mamata presents Vote on Account for Rs 2.99 lakh cr
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Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee presented a bouquet of beneficiary schemes to Bengal with equal emphasis on social sector and infrastructure development to ensure creation of massive job opportunities while presenting the interim annual financial statement and a Vote on Account at the state Assembly on Friday.

"I propose a budget of Rs 2,99,688 crore (net) for the year 2021-22 on behalf of the state government, Banerjee said while laying the Budget in place of state Finance minister Amit Mitra, who is unwell.

Banerjee proposed at least 40 projects and stated that they are not mere assurances as allocation of funds for those have also been ensured besides proposing the same, leaving no room for the Opposition to raise questions on the viability of any of the initiatives.

Paying tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary this year, Banerjee proposed to name a battalion of the Kolkata Police as "Netaji Battalion" and also to erect Azad Hind Monument besides setting up the State Planning Commission and name it as Netaji State Planning Commission.

With a series of proposed projects for further improvement in road connectivity as part of the major strive towards infrastructure development for employment generation, at least 22 projects have been proposed at a cost of Rs 2,475 crore that would lead to construction of another seven flyovers in and around Kolkata.

Giving a befitting reply to the Opposition, she proposed that applications for Swasthya Sathi cards be accepted round the year and can be renewed after every three years. At the same time, she proposed to hold the biggest outreach drive Duare Sarkar and Paray Samadhan twice a year.

Giving a major thrush to the education sector for all communities, she proposed setting up of around 1,000 more schools, including English medium for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, schools for Alchiki script and also for Nepali, Hindi, Urdu, Kamtapuri, Kurmali language and also Sadri in the tea gardens along with 200 odd schools of Rajbangshi language. A number of Madrasas will also be converted into government-aided ones.

Ensuring benefits to people from all walks of life, Banerjee proposed "Maa" to run common kitchens at different places to serve cooked food at subsidised rates. At the same time, a couple of housing projects have been taken up to benefit the tribal populace and workers of the tea gardens.

A Budget of Rs 500 crore has been proposed to increase the financial aid under 'Krishak Bandhu' scheme for farmers to Rs 6,000 from Rs 5,000.

Recollecting the fight of her government against "the pandemic, Super Cyclone Amphan and the indifferent attitude of the Centre" in the past one year, Banerjee said: "Bengal is becoming the centre of economic power in East Asia, particularly in South-East Asia, owing to the emerging industries. Swami Vivekananda once said – Now the centre in India. Following him, I will say – Now the centre in Bengal."

Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay condemned the move of the BJP MLAs as they shouted slogans for the absence of the state Finance minister despite the Governor approving the Chief Minister to present the Vote on Account.

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