Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday accused the Centre of making false claims of providing crop insurance to farmers in West Bengal.
Addressing a public meeting at Mandirbazar area of South 24 Parganas, Mamata said the state government has paid 80 per cent of the insurance payout.
“The Centre takes away our taxes and gives back a pittance. There is a crop insurance scheme for farmers. How much does the Centre pay? It pays Rs 20 out of Rs 100 and we give Rs 80. The state government gives 80 per cent of the cost. If we can give Rs 80, we can give the rest also. We do not need their pittance. We transferred the amount to the banks and now the Centre is taking credit for it and spreading lies,” she said.
Measures positive, impact depends on implementation
By promising measures such as increasing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy and dealing with issues regarding middlemen, TMC is attempting to portray a farmer-friendly image ahead of election season. An agricultural expert opined that both moves are positive, especially the decision to rein in middlemen. However, the success of the measures depends on how well they are implemented after the time for poll rhetoric is over.
Accusing the Centre of “not being serious about addressing the farmers’ distress”, the chief minister claimed her government has taken a lot of initiative for farmers, including raising the MSP for paddy.
“We have waived off mutation fees and khajna tax on agricultural land. We have given financial compensation to farmers for natural disasters. We are procuring rice from farmers at Rs 1,750 per quintal (from Rs 1,550 per quintal last year). We are starting a new system — ‘dhan din, cheque nin’ (give paddy, take cheque) and setting up more procurement centres in interior areas,” she said.
Reacting to Mamata’s comments, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “The state government has done nothing for the farmers here. They only claim they have done a lot for them.”
Mamata slammed the BJP for allegedly committing atrocities on members of the minority community and Dalits.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress chief also announced government jobs to family members of three of her party workers who were recently killed in South 24 Parganas.