A day after the state bagged seven awards from the Centre for excellence in rural development, state Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee Monday slammed Union ministers who had claimed the state government was not implementing central projects. On Monday, West Bengal had received five state-level awards, as well as two more for “outstanding performance” in two districts.
It was declared the best state in imparting livelihood through convergence under the MGNREGA scheme. Dibyendu Sarkar, commissioner of state panchayats and rural development department, received the award comprising a 24 carat gold plate and a certificate from Union Minister for Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar in New Delhi.
“Yesterday, the ministry of rural development handed out awards to states, and we received five such awards. It is ironic that a Union minister, who had criticised us for not implementing Centre’s projects, handed us awards for excellence in implementation of different flagship programmes of the ministry. Other Union ministers too had claimed we were not doing well… Today I can say that they must have some political agenda for saying such things,” Mukherjee said at a press conference on Tuesday.
While Nadia district was declared the best district in the country for excellent implementation of MGNREGA, the district of Cooch Behar was named the country’s best district in Geo MGNREGA. West Bengal also bagged awards under the Deendayal Upadhyay National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY).
The state also received two awards under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Gramin) in two categories. Mukherjee and his department officials on Tuesday displayed the awards and certificates received by the state. The minister also slammed the Centre for its “untimely” release of funds for implementation of central government projects.
“Sometimes we witness a drop in flow of work at state various departments because of the untimely release of funds by the Centre. There is always a delay in releasing funds and this hampers the development work. With our state performing so well, the Centre must release funds for development schemes at the right time,” he said.