Bengal Spent Rs 4,000 Crore on Covid-19 Management So Far, Got No Assistance from Centre: TMC


PTI, Nov 28, 2020, 8:00 PM IST

The Trinamool Congress on Saturday claimed that the Mamata Banerjee administration has so far spent Rs 4,000 crore on COVID-19 management in West Bengal and has not received any assistance from the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre to deal with the pandemic situation. State Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Minister Shashi Panja said that starting from scratch, the West Bengal government has expeditiously built the necessary infrastructure to tackle the pandemic.

“With no assistance from the Centre, the Mamata Banerjee government has spent Rs 4,000 crore to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. “It has spent Rs 1,200 crore before June and the remaining Rs 2,800 crore after that,” she told reporters at the TMC headquarters in Kolkata.

The state had faced the double disaster of COVID-19 and super cyclone Amphan, in which losses amounted to Rs 1.02 lakh crore, Panja said. “The West Bengal government has spent Rs 6,500 crore in providing relief and rebuilding infrastructure affected by the super cyclone,” she said.

Alleging that the Centre has not provided any relief to the state, Panja said that the BJP-led NDA government has denied West Bengal of its legitimate dues. She claimed that the Union government has not yet paid Rs 50,000 crore dues to West Bengal, of which Rs 36,000 crore is for co-funded schemes of the state and the Centre, while holding that the TMC government has ensured that no project suffered because of this.

“The state is also yet to receive Rs 11,000 crore under devolution of funds as its share from various taxes raised from the state,” she said, adding that another Rs 3,000 crore is due from the central government on food subsidy and some other heads. The minister claimed that apart from the Rs 50,000 crore, the West Bengal government is yet to receive Rs 7,750 crore on account of GST compensation dues.

She claimed that the state is also yet to receive Rs 6,787 crore through the Centre’s borrowing scheme. The minister said that the BJP is losing its political allies and is getting itself “new allies” in the central investigation agencies to browbeat political opponents.

“The BJP is losing allies, with Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal having left and JD(U) also likely to leave the NDA. It has got new allies in CBI, ED and Income Tax Department,” Panja said. The TMC leader alleged that BJP MP Arjun Singh has not given full information to the Election Commission while filing his nomination for the Lok Sabha elections.

She claimed that Singh, a former MLA of the TMC who joined the BJP before the 2019 general elections, has not declared in full about his financial assets and relations in his declaration to the Election Commission.

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