Kolkata: Wondering whether the Centre spends more time “sleeping or spewing venom”, Trinamool Congress on Sunday claimed that West Bengal was yet to receive MGNREGA dues amounting to Rs 2,786 crore from the BJP-led Union government.
The party, quoting a list recently issued by the Centre, said that the eastern state has topped the chart in providing employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), giving work to 1.1 crore people in 2021-22, and has come second in generating mandays under the scheme.
“Under @MamataOfficial’s exemplary leadership, Bengal ranked first among all States in ‘Total Persons Worked’ (Employed) in MGNREGA (2021-22). Bengal Govt. gave work to nearly 1.1 Cr people through MGNREGA! This is the #BengalModel that @narendramodi ji could only dream of!” it tweeted.
“Bengal ranked 2nd among all States in Person-Days-Generated (2021-22), having generated 36.4 Cr of person days. ?2,876 Cr is PENDING from the Central Govt upto March 31st, 2022. We’re still awaiting payment and wondering if the Govt spends more time sleeping or spewing venom!” the party said in another Twitter post.
BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya, however, alleged that West Bengal has a “pathetic record” in implementing MGNREGA, with the needy in rural areas never getting work, and there has been a flight of industry and no fresh investments in the state.
He questioned why the TMC is not taking the initiative of jointly approaching the Centre with BJP MPs from the state for the dues, while casting aspersions on the figures claimed by the ruling party in West Bengal.
“They have to present facts before our MPs. We know they won’t as their figures may not be correct. While the BJP believes in participatory federalism, TMC indulges in competitive federalism,” he told PTI.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other TMC leaders have in the past repeatedly claimed that financial grants under various heads were pending with the Centre.
They had alleged that despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi surveying the damages caused by Cyclone Amphan in 2020, the BJP-led government at the Centre was sitting over the state’s compensation package running into thousands of crores of rupees for a long time.
Agriculture Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay recently informed the assembly that 10 lakh farmers in the state were yet to receive funds under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, despite their details having been uploaded on a designated portal.
Women and Child Development Minister Shashi Panja had said in the assembly that inadequate fund allocation by the Centre was affecting several welfare projects, but the state, despite the constraints, has managed to run these effectively thus far.
She had pointed out that the Union government has reduced allocation for autonomous bodies such as Central Adoption Resource Authority, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and National Commission for Women.
Panja had said that change in fund sharing pattern between the Centre and the states has been affecting the projects.
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