With an eye on the 2021 Assembly poll, the state government resorted to populism in its Budget today giving a fresh impetus to employment generation. State finance minister Amit Mitra in his Budget for 20-21 with an outlay of Rs 2,55,677 crore announced a host of social schemes especially for scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and tea garden workers.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha poll ruling Trinamul Congress lost seats to the BJP in tea garden areas, tribal belts and schedule caste dominated Parliamentary constituencies. Mitra announced ‘Hasir Alo’ scheme ~ free electricity for consumers with quarterly consumption up to 75 units and also a scheme to build houses for all permanent tea garden workers. The state govt proposed an agricultural income tax waiver for tea gardens for the next two fiscals.

The state allocated Rs 200 crore for MSME parks and Rs 500 crore for housing scheme ~ Chai Shundari ~ which will benefit around three lakh workers in 370 tea gardens. Mitra claimed while the country is going down on various economic indices, West Bengal is surging forward in terms of GDP growth.