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Amit’s minority pat

Calcutta, Dec. 19: Finance minister Amit Mitra today gave the Mamata Banerjee government “10 on 10” for its performance in the development of minorities, prompting CPM leader Mohammad Salim to allege that there was “a great mismatch” between the announcement and implementation of welfare schemes.

At a programme to disburse loans, stipends and scholarships to members of minority communities at Netaji Indoor Stadium, Mitra compared the performance of the Trinamul and Left governments in 10 areas and said the former was “far ahead”.

Mitra said the budget outlay for the minority department had increased from Rs 330 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 859 crore in 2013-14.

He added that the amount of loans provided to members of the minority communities had increased from Rs 54 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 254 crore in 2013-14. The number of minority students who received scholarships from the government has increased almost five times, Mitra said.

“In 2009-10, seven lakh students received scholarships. In 2013-14, 34,26,494 received scholarships. In the same period, 16,647 people received vocational training compared with 2,24,239 in 2013-14,” Mitra said.

Mamata Banerjee was not present at today’s programme.

Salim, a state secretariat member of the CPM and former chairman of the West Bengal Minorities Development and Finance Corporation, said the Trinamul government was “trying to misguide” people.

“A major part of the money disbursed to the minority community comes from the central government, which has been increasing the sum every year,” Salim said.

“On the contrary, the amount of scholarships and stipends (disbursed by the state) has not been increased despite the rising prices of everything, including education.”