Darjeeling, Aug 4 (PTI): Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Saturday promised Rs 200 crore to the newly-formed Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), which was sworn in here.
“We are giving Rs 200 crore to GTA from the Centre and if it performs well the central government will provide more funds for development of hills”, he said at the swearing-in of 45 members of GTA at a function at the Mall in this tourist resort where people thronged in large numbers in colourful traditional dresses.
State Governor M K Narayanan, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Jaswant Singh, MP of Darjeeling and Union Home Secretary R K Singh, North Bengal Development Minister were present at the function.
Lauding the role of the Chief Minister in the formation of GTA, Shinde said she had taken the crucial decision on it along with the Centre.
The GTA, he said, has a “huge responsibility” to ensure development of the hills.
”I had talks with Bimal Gurung, the Chief Executive of GTA, and I have high hopes that with his interest in working for the people he will do well,” he said.
Shinde also promised to consider Gurung's request for taking the hill people in the police force and relax criteria for them.
Recalling that he had come here earlier on a holiday with his family, Shinde said, “Now I have come here as the (union) home minister and I will tell my cabinet colleagues how happy the people here are now. I want to congratulate the chief minister for this.”
He later left to attend a crucial meeting on the serial blast in Pune.