Union Minister of State for Home Jitendra Pratap Singh met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today and urged the state government,which is facing a financial crisis,to exempt VAT on sales at police canteens set up for the BSF and CISF.
After the hour-long meeting with Mamata,Singh said he had urged the CM for VAT exemption because it was found to be a burden for the CISF and BSF.
I have asked her whether it is possible to exempt the police canteen from VAT to show respect to the family of the jawans who are protecting the borders of our country. The state government will have to shell out an extra Rs 2-3 crore,but it will be of a great help to the jawans. Already 20 states have exempted VAT from police canteens. She assured me that she will look into the issue.
Singh added that the crime rate in West Bengal was going down that the state was tackling the Maoist problem welll. Around 30 Maoists have surrendered in the past one year and the law and order situation in West Bengal has improved considerably. The crime rate in West Bengal is going down compared to other states, he said.
Singh visited the Sunderbans and found that due to land acquisition problems,border outposts could not be set up in various districts. Sunderbans is a vulnerable area and I have urged the CM to increase BSF postings there, he said. We have already provided funds for setting up border outposts.