Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi over pending central funds for West Bengal


New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded the release of pending central funds to the state. She said the prime minister proposed that officials from the state and the Centre can sit together and clear the issues.

Speaking to the media after the meeting in the Parliament complex along with nine party MPs, Banerjee said 155 central teams have already visited West Bengal and the state government has given clarification on issues raised by the Centre.

The Centre and the West Bengal government have been involved in a tug-of-war over the release of funds to the state, with the TMC even holding a protest led by its general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in the national capital in October. The BJP has accused the TMC government of siphoning off central funds meant for Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna and MGNREGA.

Talking about the pending MGNREGA funds for the state, she said it is mandatory under the Constitution to pay the workers.

“We didn’t even get a penny for 100 days of work (under MGNREGA) in the budget for 2022-23. Funds for (Pradhan Mantri) Aawas Yojna have been stopped, rural development schemes have been shut, and the health mission programme has also been shut. We are also not getting funds under the Finance Commission,” said Banerjee.

“Our officials have given all the clarification they asked for. PM has said a joint meeting will be held by the Centre and state officials. I said we have given clarification 155 times. We can do that once again, they can decide the formula. In a federal structure, the central government has a share and the state also has a share,” she said.

“It is not right to stop the money for poor people,” Banerjee said, adding that the Centre owed Rs 1.15 lakh crore to West Bengal.


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