CM Mamata Banerjee hints at implementing Centre’s PM Kisan Yojana for West Bengal farmers


New Delhi: The Mamata Banerjee government on Monday (January 4) indicated to implement the Central government’s PM Kissan Yojana for farmers in West Bengal. Earlier, the Chief Minister had stated that the money should be transferred to the state but now she said that her government has no problem if the money is directly transferred to farmers.

The Chief Minister said that she has asked the Centre to share details of all those who have registered themselves on the Union government’s portal for the programme.

Addressing a press meet in Kolkata, Mamata Banerjee said, “I had repeatedly asked the Centre to transfer funds allotted under the PM-Kisan scheme to the state government. Recently, they (central government officials) claimed that around 21.7 lakh farmers from Bengal have registered themselves on a portal to avail benefits of the scheme.”

“They (Centre) have sought verification of this data. I understood that the Centre was trying to politicise the matter. We realised that farmers should not suffer because of this… I have asked the Centre to pass on the data so that we can start the verification process,” she said.

Mamata said that she would want the farmers of the state to get all possible help, in addition to the assistance being doled out by her government, adding “I want the farmers to get all benefits. We do have our schemes, but if they get extra benefits… Let them avail it. However, if the Centre doesn’t trust us with the verification process, then it is up to them.” 

In the past, she had opposed the implementation of Central schemes, saying that her government would allow PM- Kisan Samman Nidhi and Ayushman Bharat programmes in the state, only if funds to the beneficiaries are routed through the state government. 

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Flaying the Centre over the new farm laws, the West Bengal CM said arrangements would soon be made to convene an assembly session to pass a resolution against the contentious legislations. She, however, asserted that said she would never allow the implementation of the three farm laws, which have sparked protests across the country.

Mamata said, “We are against those farm laws. We would soon convene an assembly session for a day or two and pass a resolution against the anti-farmer laws.” Notably, West Bengal would become the sixth state in the country to do so, after Kerala, Delhi, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, if it passes the resolution.

Her remarks came on a day when the seventh round of talks between protesting unions and three central ministers ended inconclusively, as farmer groups stuck to their demand for the repeal of the three farm laws. The government, however, listed out various benefits of the new Acts for the growth of the country’s agriculture sector.

Mamata moots Planning Commission like body in WB to honour Netaji

Mamata Banerjee today hit out at the Centre for abolishing the Planning Commission conceptualised by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and said her government would come up with a similar body to take ahead the national hero’s ideas and vision.

The West Bengal CM also urged Nobel laureate economists Amartya Sen and Abhijit Banerjee and Bose’s grandnephew Sugata Bose, a historian, to advise the state government on this.

She said, “Netaji’s Planning Commission has been dissolved by the central government. They have named it (the new body which replaced the institution) Niti Aayog or Niti Niyog, I do not know. Earlier, I used to go for meetings of the Planning Commission which sought suggestions from each state. Now we cannot share our views.” 

The Planning Commission, a government institution which formulated India’s Five-Year Plans besides performing other functions, was set up in March 1950. The Narendra Modi government disbanded it in 2014 and formed Niti Aayog.

She talked to reporters after a meeting of a committee set up by her government to plan year-long celebrations to mark the occasion of the great freedom fighter’s 125th birth anniversary from this January 23. Abhijit Banerjee and other members of the committee attended the virtual meeting.

The day will be celebrated as “Desh Nayak Divas” in West Bengal, Banerjee said adding that a “Jai Hind Monument” will soon be erected in Rajarhat area near Kolkata. The slogan ‘Jai Hind’ was popularised by Netaji.

Mamata also stressed on her demand that the Centre declassify the files which might lead to the unravelling of Netaji’s disappearance.

(With Agency Inputs)


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