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Amit increases funds for region

Siliguri, Feb. 17: The Bengal finance minister today increased allocations for north Bengal development and hill affairs departments by Rs 135 crore and over Rs 27 crore respectively and announced Hindi medium schools in Kalchini and Metelli.

In his budget for 2014-2015 financial year, Amit Mitra said a youth hostel would be opened in Gajoldoba in Jalpaiguri and earmarked Rs 4 crore for the improvement of a “mazhar sharif” at Haldibari in Cooch Behar district. He also announced a bench of the Appellate and Revisional Board in Siliguri.

Mitra allocated Rs 375 crore for the north Bengal development department, for which Rs 240 crore had been set aside for the current fiscal. For the hill affairs department, the allocation is Rs 157.7 crore, while the amount was Rs 130.27 crore for 2013-2014.

Another boon for north Bengal in the budget was the waiver of 12 paisa as cess — 7 paise for rural education and 5 paise for rural employment — per one kilo of green tealeaves. The tourism department has been allotted Rs 223 crore, an increase of over Rs 100 crore from last year’s allocation of Rs 120 crore.