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Liar barb

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday accused the Centre of “lying” about the allocation of funds to Bengal, saying her government hadn’t received “a single paisa” of the thousands of crores promised by Delhi.
 

Addressing journalists after an administrative meeting in Behrampore, Mamata said Narendra Modi kept promising money to states but hardly gave any.

The Telegraph goes through some of the chief minister’s claims:

Claim: “They (the Centre) keep lying about giving us money. They don’t give us funds and hardly work on the development of our state. Thousands of crores are promised, not even a single paisa is given.”

Reality: Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had on June 13 produced a set of numbers to contest Trinamul’s claim about the Centre’s discrimination against Bengal.

According to Jaitley’s figures, Bengal had received Rs 42,029.22 crore in tax devolution, Finance Commission grants and planned transfers in the last financial year of the UPA government (2013-14). The amount would be raised to Rs 63,578 crore by the NDA government in the current financial year , he had said.

Last week, the Centre approved Rs 6,000 crore for Bengal under the 100-day rural job scheme for 2015-16, the highest-ever such grant for the state.

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Claim: “The central ministers talk big, talk too much, but don’t deliver. We talk little, but we deliver.”

Reality: Nabanna sources pointed out the state’s failure in claiming funds for central projects because of non-submission of utilisation certificates and detailed project reports.

For instance, Bengal was unable to claim around Rs 3,200 crore of the Rs 8,756 crore the Centre had allotted under the special Backward Regions Grant Fund in 2011-12.

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Claim: “Take NH34, for instance. It’s in a deplorable state. We keep telling the Centre to do something about it. It’s their responsibility. But no work has been done. Nitin Gadkari came a few days ago and promised Rs 30,000 crore. Not a single paisa was actually given.”

Reality: Gadkari had proposed investments between Rs 20,000 crore and Rs 25,000 crore in the road sector but was denied an appointment with Mamata to discuss details of the projects that could be implemented with the funds.

Bengal has about 2,000km of national highways, which Gadkari said could be expanded.

The widening of NH34, which connects Calcutta airport with Dalkhola in North Dinajpur, has run into problems because the state has failed to hand over a sizeable portion of the required 826.67 hectares. 

Report by Alamgir Hossain

Opinion

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