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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

WB Governor questions allocation of funds for ‘Maa Kitchen’

Jagdeep Dhankhar shared a communication with the state government highlighting that Rs 100 crore was allotted to the ‘Common kitchen under Maa scheme in the budget which was to be operationalised in April 1.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
December 19, 2021 4:30:24 am
Jagdeep Dhankhar, maa kitchen, mamata banerjee, Kolkata, Kolkata news, Indian express, Indian express newsWest Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. (File)

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday sought information from the state government regarding its ‘Maa Kitchen’ scheme and alleged diversion of funds.

On February 15, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched the ‘Maa Kitchen’ scheme that provides highly subsidised food to the people on the lines of Karnataka’s Indira canteen and Tamil Nadu’s ‘Amma’ canteen. Under the scheme, a plate of rice, cooked vegetables, dal and egg is offered at Rs 5.

“Noticing unconstitutional diversion of funds #MAA scheme @MamataOffiial till March 31, 2021, WB Governor has sought from Finance Secy source and amount spent #MAA till March 31, 2021 Another revelations @DrAmit Mitra. His silence #BGBS Report Card indicates there is all to hide,” Dhankhar tweeted on Saturday.

He also shared a communication dated December 17 with the state government. There he highlighted that Rs 100 crore was allotted to the ‘Common kitchen under Maa scheme (cooked food)in the budget which was to be operationalised in April 1. However the scheme was launched in mid February and questioned the source of funds for one-and-a-half months before April.

“It emanates firmly from the aforesaid that the common kitchen under Maa Scheme by way of a new scheme and allocation of Rs 100 crores for the next financial year was proposed… The new scheme was to be operationalized from 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022…. It has been represented, as also gathered from public domain, that the Chief Minister launched the Maa canteens for providing subsidized cooked meals for the poor and destitute at a nominal price of Rs 5 in mid February 2021. It is thus apparent that for a month and a half prior to April 1, 2021 the scheme was functional and during this period there was no legitimate allocation to this effect,” the letter read.

‘In the aforesaid premise, information is required as regards the following:- a) The amount spent on Maa scheme during the FY ending 31.01.2021. b) The source of funding of the same and the authority sanctioning such fund…” the Governor wrote. He sought a reply from the state finance secretary in a week.

“The government is only accountable to the Assembly. These issues are not for the Governor to look into. He is just continuing his illogical talks,” said Sougata Roy, Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP.

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