Mamata promises minimum income, student credit card with Rs 10L limit
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday unveiled a "development-oriented" manifesto for the upcoming Assembly polls in Bengal, promising an income scheme for all families, a student credit card and constitution of a task force to examine the inclusion of several communities under the OBC category.
Banerjee said all small and marginal farmers would get Rs 10,000 per acre annually against the present amount of Rs 6,000. The annual income of the farmers has gone up three times, she maintained.
To make students self-reliant, a new student credit card scheme will be introduced with a credit limit of Rs 10 lakh and an interest rate of only 4 per cent will be charged in which the state government will be the guarantor, she said.
"We want to see our students carry on with their studies and become self-reliant. This will help them pursue their career without depending on their parents," she said.
Banerjee said in the past one decade the state Budget had gone up by three times to Rs 2.55 lakh crore while the average income of people has more than doubled. In the next five years, Bengal will become the fifth-largest economy in the country with a GDP size of Rs 12.5 lakh crore and an annual per capita income of more than Rs 2.5 lakh.
She said a minimum basic income scheme would be introduced under which a member of a general caste would get Rs 500 per month that is Rs 6,000 per annum and an SC/ST family would get Rs 1,000 per month, that is Rs 12,000 annually. The money will be transferred directly to the woman head of the family. Widows above 18 years will continue to get Rs 1,000 per month as pension irrespective of caste and religion.
The Trinamool chairperson said under the Bengal Awas Yojana, 33.7 lakh houses had been built and another 25 lakh low-cost houses will be set up with tap water facility and improved drainage system.
Under the Khadya Sathi scheme, free monthly ration will be delivered to 1.5 crore families at their doorstep. Banerjee said Duare Sarkar, which has garnered so much success, will be held twice a year, August – September and November – December. The problems faced by people will be sorted out in these camps.
The newly-formed state government will also set up 10 lakh new MSMEs annually to ensure smooth and steady industrial development.
Another 2,000 big industrial units will be added to the existing 10,000 in the next five years. She said the number of factories in Bengal had gone up by 15 per cent through which the income of labourers had gone up by 77 per cent.
A special task force will be set up to examine and propose OBC status to all the communities who are not currently recognised as OBSc like Mahisyas, Tili, Tamul, Sahas but were part of the recommended list of OBC communities in the Mandal Commission. A special development board for the people of Terai-Dooars region will be set up with proportional representation from all communities of the area.
She said the ongoing projects like Swasthya Sathi, Sabuj Sathi, Kanyasree, Rupasree, Sabujsree will continue and free tabs or smartphones will be given to students of state-run schools. Steps will be made to increase the Swasthya Sathi net so that more people can be benefitted.