Mamata claims plan expenditure has increased five times in Bengal

Kolkata, (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday claimed that the state government has created a record by increasing the plan expenditure five times in the 2016-17 financial year.

“We have increased our plan expenditure five times. This is a record,” Banerjee said at the inauguration ceremony of the two-day state-Panchayat meet.

Terming the Panchayat department as the main source of development in the rural areas, Banerjee said the Panchayat workers should be given proper training to keep up the good work.

“Developmental work in villages and rural areas, where 80 per cent of people live, happens through Panchayat department. Workers at Panchayat level must be given proper training. We have to keep up the good work in future,” she said.

The Trinamool Congress supremo also awarded the districts that performed well and urged the districts that are lagging behind to do better.

“Coochbehar and Hooghly have performed well in 100 Days’ Work. Nadia has also performed well. We have awarded the districts that have performed well. Rest of the districts must match up to them,” she said.

Banerjee also announced the inclusion of the Panchayat blocks and district councils under the government-sponsored group health insurance scheme ‘Swasthya Sathi’ and said the government housing scheme has helped lakhs to build their houses.

“Kanyshree, Sabuj Shree, Sabuj Sathi, Siksha Shree, Baitarani, Lok Prasar Prakalpa — we have many many more projects. Gram Sabha, Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad will be included in Swasthya Sathi scheme,”

“2.93 lakh houses constructed under Geetanjali scheme, three lakh houses constructed under rural housing scheme,” she claimed.

The Chief Minister said the present government has increased revenue collection and reduced the number of departments to achieve better governance.

She also claimed the state would have done a lot better in terms of development if it did not have “a huge debt legacy” passed on by the previous Left-led government.

“We have increased our revenue collection. We have reduced the number of departments for more effective governance. If we had not inherited a huge debt legacy, we could have done much more developmental work,” she added.

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