Mamata meets Modi, seeks intervention on release of funds due to West Bengal

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The W.B. Chief Minister is on a four-day visit to New Delhi and is likely to attend a meeting of Niti Aayog on August 7

The W.B. Chief Minister is on a four-day visit to New Delhi and is likely to attend a meeting of Niti Aayog on August 7

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and sought his intervention on release of funds due to the State.

The meeting between the two leaders went on for almost 40 minutes in which the Chief Minister shared a letter addressed to the Prime Minister on funds due from the Government of India, to West Bengal till July 31, 2022.

“With such large amount of ₹1,00,968.44 crore remaining outstanding on account of core sectors, you would no doubt appreciate that it is becoming extremely difficult for the State Government to run the affairs and take care of the people of the State,” the letter by the Chief Minister addressed to the Prime Minister said.

Ms. Banerjee in the letter emphasised on schemes like MGNREGA, Awas Yojana and Gramin Sadak Yojana and added that funds due from the Central government for these schemes is about ₹17,996.32 crore. “State Government is complying with all directions of the Central government. However, funds have not yet been released, thus creating a huge blockade to implementation of the schemes and putting rural people in great distress,” she said in the letter.

The Chief Minister also pointed out in her letter that the “State had to face a critical period and had to make substantial expenses for exigencies arising out of situations like COVID pandemic, rural calamities like Yaas and Amphan, for which Central funds have not been received”.

The Chief Minister is on a four-day visit to New Delhi and is likely to attend a meeting of Niti Aayog on August 7. She landed in the national capital on Thursday and held a meeting with her party MPs. The Trinamool Congress chairperson also called on President Droupadi Murmu on Friday. She is expected to meet leaders of Opposition parties during her visit.

The visit to New Delhi and the meeting with the Prime Minister comes at a time when her party and the government in West Bengal are reeling under the School Service Commission recruitment scam. The TMC had to dump its senior leader Partha Chatterjee who is an accused in the scam after recovery of huge cash from his aide’s residence. The Congress and Left parties in West Bengal have alleged that Ms. Banerjee’s visit is aimed at easing the pressure faced by her party leaders from central investigating agencies.

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