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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Farm Bills Flashpoint: As TMC hits streets, Governor attacks CM: Don’t shed crocodile tears, implement Central scheme

Dhankhar said the scheme was fully funded by the Centre and there was no rationale behind denying its benefits to farmers.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Updated: September 23, 2020 10:48:17 am
west bengal crimes data, jagdeep dhankhar, west bengal governor, Jagdeep Dhankhar on bengal crimes, bengal gov on crimes data, west bengal newsA Twitter spat between Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the state government over crime data escalated on Wednesday. (File)

Even as Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders on Tuesday continued to demonstrate against the farm Bills passed by the Rajya Sabha two days ago amid Opposition protests, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to implement the Centre’s PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme in the state. He also asked her not to shed “crocodile tears” for farmers.

Later in the day, the TMC released two letters written by Mamata Banerjee to the Centre on September 9. In one, she said the scheme would be implemented in West Bengal only if funds were routed through her administration.

Criticising the Chief Minister earlier in the day, Dhankhar tweeted, “Why deny @MamataOfficial benefit Rs 8,400 crores to 70 lac WB farmers. By failure to participate in PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi! So far every farmer has lost Rs 12,000 that would have come to his bank account. Urge CM – Crocodile Tears will not relieve the pain of farmers.”

In a letter urging Banerjee to implement the central scheme, the governor wrote, “Farmers in the country, except WB, have enormously benefited from the PM-Kisan scheme and so far more than Rs 92,000 crore have been defrayed to them. This palpable injustice to WB farmers is poor politics and bad economics @MamataOfficial.”

Dhankhar said the scheme was fully funded by the Centre and there was no rationale behind denying its benefits to farmers. “Denial of the benefits of the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi to over 70 lakh farmers in the state on account of laxity and inaction of the state government is hurting them, especially during these stressed and crisis times. The situation has not looked up even after attention was drawn from my end,” he wrote.

The Governor said the state government would not incur any financial burden or liability for implementing the scheme, which has been functional since December 2018. “It has only to impart details, which it has unfortunately not done, without any explicable premise or rational approach,” Dhankhar added in the letter.

In the letter to Union Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar about the implementation of the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, which was released by her party, Mamata Banerjee pointed out that her government had implemented the Krishak Bandhu scheme for farmers much before the central scheme came into existence.

“However, we will be happy to provide benefits to the farmers under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, and in that case, the Central government may transfer the requisite fund direct to the state government for further disbursement with full responsibility to the beneficiaries through the state government machinery,” wrote Banerjee.

In a separate letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, the Chief Minister said her government was providing free treatment to people through the Swasthya Sathi scheme.

“Ayushman Bharat Scheme may be extended by the government of India with the entire 100 percent expenditure for the scheme in such a case, the entire funding for the scheme may be routed through the state government,” she added.

In response, Dhankhar claimed that if funds were routed through the state administration, it would lead to corruption.

“Hallmark #PM-KISAN is transparent direct transfer of funds to farmers without intermediary and cut. Government @MamataOfficial wants to be its agent intermediary. For What! OMG — fishing for opportunity #MAP. Glaring injustice and corruption #AmphanRelief and PDS an open secret,” he tweeted.

The governor’s latest statements came a day after Banerjee targeted the BJP-led Centre over the passage of the two farm sector reform Bills, describing them as “anti-farmer”.


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