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Massive irregularities in use of PMKVY, ICDS funds in Bengal: Irani

'Congress disrupting Parliament shows the party’s animosity towards President'

smriti irani, smriti irani news, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, PMKVY, icds, Integrated Child Development Services, West Bengal, Kolkata, Indian Express, current affairsUnion Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani

Claiming that the West Bengal government failed to utilise and spend Rs 260 crore granted by her department Union Women and Child Development minister Smriti Irani on Saturday alleged massive irregularities in the utilisation of funds allocated to the state under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMKVY) and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme.

Irani, at the same time, slammed the Congress for disrupting the proceedings in Parliament while demanding an independent investigation into the allegations of fraud against the Adani Group.

“The Union government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sending money for the development of women and children, but the state government is unable to utilise the fund. They (the state) should explain their inability on this count. There have been massive irregularities in the utilisation of funds allocated under the PMKVY and the ICDS scheme. Trinamool Congress leaders should better check their documents and papers before pointing their fingers towards the Union government,” said Irani, who was in the city as a part of the Centre’s initiative to highlight the positive aspects of the Union Budget, at a press conference.

Responding to Irani’s allegations, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen said, “The Centre is not doing any charity. It takes away money from the states and then gives them back as allocations for various welfare schemes. It is their responsibility to send money. By not doing so they are depriving the people of the state. The Union minister is speaking about only one thing, while there are several areas where we have been denied due funds.”

Irani, meanwhile, said the disruption of proceedings in Parliament by the Congress is a reflection of the animosity the party has towards President Droupadi Murmmu from the day she took office.

“The government has repeatedly said that they are open for any conversation, but why would it not begin with a vote of thanks to the President’s speech? The Opposition has always taken a stand, which is anti-President of India, and it is known to every citizen of the country. President Droupadi Murmu has given a speech laying not only the foundation of the future of India but also exhibiting our present potential, and the issues need to be debated,” she said.

Parliament was adjourned for the second consecutive day on Friday without transacting any business after the Opposition stepped up its demand for an independent investigation into the allegations of fraud against industrialist Gautam Adani’s companies which had triggered an unprecedented stock crash.


The proceedings in both the Houses — the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha — were disrupted as Opposition members raised slogans demanding a discussion on the issue and a JPC probe into the fraud allegation. “Why would the Congress deny that respect to the President of India? But I am not surprised because that has been their political mandate from the day the hon’ble President took office,” she added.

Reacting to Irani’s allegations, Congress Lok Sabha MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “The Union minister is not aware of the rules and regulations of the House. The allegations against us are baseless. Due to the investment made by LIC and SBI in the Adani Group, the fate of the money of common people are in danger. The Opposition demanded an inquiry into the entire matter.”

At the press conference, Irani lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for focusing on inclusive growth in the Union Budget.


“The Budget reflects Prime Minister Modi’s vision to build a new India. The ‘Saptarishi’ mentioned in the Budget is a reflection of that. Along with inclusive growth, the Budget also focusses on enhancing infrastructure and social investment for the future. Nearly 80 crore citizens of the country are getting free rations for the last two years. This year too, they will get free rations. The Centre has allotted Rs 2 lakh crore for the purpose,” said the Union minister.

“In her Budget speech, the finance minister talked about cluster-based enterprises to empower the self-help groups of the country. During 2009-2014, only 19 lakh self-help groups were registered. After coming to power in 2014 to December 2022, 81 lakh self-help groups were registered. With a capacity to interest rates of seven per cent and above, this savings instrument, particularly for the women of our country, translates Narendra Modi’s vision of women-led development,” she said.

“The capital expenditure of the government has been increased to Rs 10 lakh crore. It will not only have an effect on infrastructure growth and new job opportunities but will play a major role in strengthening the states…,” added Irani.

First published on: 05-02-2023 at 04:04 IST
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