Stating that the West Bengal government is not cooperating in implementation of the Centre’s measures, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Sunday said the state could not be included in the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Yojana — the employment scheme for returnee migrant workers — as it did not share the required data.
“Till June 27, 282 trains were provided to West Bengal for migrant workers returning to their home state … but there are not enough facilities for them … six states shared their data regarding migrant workers … the Prime Minister launched the scheme for their employment in 116 districts, but West Bengal is not a part of it because they did not share data (with Centre),” she said while addressing the Jan Samwad rally in West Bengal via videoconference.
The FM said the Centre has provided the Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal government with funds worth Rs 10,106 crore to fight coronavirus, yet there were not enough quarantine centres, testing in hospitals, and the shared data is improper.
“… the central government provided insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh for corona warriors … but medical professionals in West Bengal complained of inadequate PPE kits,” she said.
Sitharaman added that Rs 17,890 crore has been transferred to farmers across the country, but no farmer from Bengal has been part of it because of the opposition from the state government to Centre’s policies and measures.
She, however, appreciated the Chief Minister for her support to the Centre on the issue of the Sino-India border standoff. “I would credit her for one thing; at least on the Sino-India border issue, she (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) stood by the Centre,” the FM said.
Terming the TMC government “anti-people”, Sitharaman said the state was informed about cyclone Amphan 11 days in advance, but it failed to take adequate precaution. Several lives could have been saved, if timely measures were taken, she said.
On West Bengal’s alleged unwillingness to bring back migrant labourers, Sitharaman said it was the only state that was not keen on taking back its workers. “The migrant labourers would never forget the treatment you (Banerjee) have meted out to them. She (Banerjee) had said that these special migrant trains were bringing more coronavirus cases to the state. It was a heartless statement,” Sitharaman said.
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