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Thursday, April 15, 2021

West Bengal, Tamil Nadu rush to announce new welfare schemes ahead of poll announcement

While the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday announced a hike in wages of daily wage workers, the Office of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced a new gold loan scheme.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 26, 2021 6:35:31 pm
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Left) and his Tamil Nadu counterpart Edappadi K Palaniswami .(File)

Hours before the Election Commission announced dates for the upcoming elections in four states and one union territory (Puducherry), the governments of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu rushed to announce new welfare schemes on Friday.

While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a hike in wages of daily wage workers, the Office of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced a new gold loan waiver scheme.

The West Bengal government said the wages of unskilled labour will increase from Rs 144 to Rs 202 while the wages of semi-skilled labour will see a hike from Rs 172 to Rs 303. The government has also introduced a new category for skilled labour under which they will be paid Rs 404 per day.

“A total of 56,500 workers (40,500 unskilled, 8000 semi-skilled, 8000 skilled) will benefit from this. These wages are in parity with rural workers’ enhanced pay (MNREGA unskilled & semi-skilled). Budget provision for this step has been made available for both FY21 and FY22,” Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

In Tamil Nadu, announcing the loan waiver scheme, the government said the scheme aims to alleviate the poor and women belonging to self-help groups. “They are being given a waiver of outstanding loans obtained from co-operative banks and co-operative societies”.

According to ANI, Puducherry Lt Governor announced a 2 per cent reduction in VAT (Value Added Tax) on petrol and diesel in the union territory.

While Assembly polls will be held in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in a single phase on April 6, voting in West Bengal will be done in eight phases starting from March 27. The polling dates in Bengal are March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29.

Results of all states will be declared on May 2.

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