Mamata to keep Finance, Amit Mitra made principal chief adviser
Kolkata: Former Finance minister Amit Mitra has been appointed on Tuesday as the Principal Chief Adviser to the Chief Minister and Finance Department in the rank of a Cabinet minister.
Mitra was Bengal's Finance minister from the day of the formation of Mamata Banerjee's government in 2011. He has also been made the Finance minister after Banerjee formed the government for the third consecutive term though he did not contest in 2021 Assembly elections owing to his ill health.
Tuesday being the last day of his six months' tenure as Finance minister, as he had to get elected as an MLA to continue as a minister, Mitra has been appointed as the Principal Chief Adviser to the Chief Minister and Finance department.
Mitra's responsibility as Principal Chief Adviser to the Chief Minister and Finance department would be to advise and aid the Chief Minister and Finance department on all matters related to the management of state finance. He would be representing the state government in national and international events, meetings and committees.
The former secretary general of FICCI, who had won in two consecutive terms (2011 and 2016) from Khardah Assembly constituency in North 24-Parganas, would also be examining important proposals or files and policy issues relating to all financial matters which are referred to him for advice or views.
According to a notification issued by the state Finance department on Tuesday, Mitra shall be "entitled to emoluments, allowances and perks as admissible to a Cabinet minister of the state government".
With Mitra becoming the Principal Chief Adviser to the Chief Minister and Finance department, it is very likely that the Chief Minister may keep the department to herself while the Minister of State (MoS) for Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department (Independent charge) Chandrima Bhattacharya may be given the additional charge of MoS, Finance Department, sources said.
With the untimely demise of state Panchayats and Rural Development minister Subrata Mukherjee, state Public Health Engineering minister Pulak Roy may get the additional charge to look after the department. At the same time, Becharam Manna, who is the MoS (Independent charge) for the Labour department, may get additional charge as MoS of the Panchayats and Rural Development department.
Mukherjee was also given charge to look after the work of the Consumer Affairs department and Self-Help Group department after its minister Sadhan Pandey had fallen ill. Without expanding the Cabinet, Water Resources Investigation and Development Manas Bhuniya may be given the additional charge of the Consumer Affairs department while Women and Child Development and Social Welfare minister Shashi Panja may get the additional charge of Self-Help Group in Mukherjee's absence. MoS Forest Birbaha Hansda may get the additional charge of MoS of the Consumer Affairs department.
Public Enterprises and Industrial Reconstruction that was also with Mukherjee may go to state Industry minister Partha Chatterjee.