Don’t move away from Bengal for jobs. Don’t beg for jobs outside Bengal. Yesterday, the Centre presented the Union Budget, where not a single word was mentioned about the persistent unemployment issue, said chief minister Mamata Banerjee here this afternoon, addressing a public meeting while extending facilities and services to 2.3 lakh beneficiaries in the district.
Miss Banerjee mocked the Centre saying: “When the elections are around the corner, the Centre promises to shower 2 crore jobs annually. But after resuming power, we’ve seen that around 4 crore jobs were forfeited as many industries downed shutters. They are closing the selfhelp groups. Look at Bengal, where the number of SHGs has increased to 11 lakh after we assumed office. We want the SHGs to stand on their feet.”
The chief minister further assured the unemployed youths: “People of Bengal shouldn’t worry as we’re prepared to protect our artisans, farmers and traders. We’ve already generated employment for over 1.5 crore people. The Deucha-Pachami coal project will create jobs for lakhs of people in Birbhum and neighbouring districts like Burdwan soon.”
The CM further took a dig at the BJP-led Centre saying, “Yesterday, it seemed like the central government was on the verge of collapse. Why? The stock market recorded a landslide crash. I don’t wish to take names, but the Centre had to seek support of 6 to 8 persons to bail it out and some were asked to provide Rs 20,000 crore and some were told to provide support worth Rs 30,000 crore. Again, I don’t want to reveal any names as I don’t want to make it difficult for them.”
Mamata Banerjee also ridiculed the Union Budget labeling it as Centre’s tricky attempt to fool the common people and the upper middle class.
She said, “The central ministers are claiming that the Income Tax exemption limit has been increased from Rs 5 Lakh to Rs 7 Lakh. They actually have spun a web of lies. As per the new rules, those who pay Income Tax under Section 80-C, Life Insurance, PPF, Mutual Funds, earlier used to get Rs 1.5 Lakh relief. However, under the new norms, that volume of money is now taxable.”
“So, the limit is increased on one hand, and on the other hand they have removed relief from elsewhere. They have increased the slab by Rs 2 lakh and reduced relief by Rs 2.5 lakh,” she explained. She also laid the foundation for 65 upcoming development projects worth Rs 325.75 crore. Besides, she inaugurated 40 projects worth Rs 72 crore today.
A hundred-bedded health care unit in Memari, a hyacinth artisans hub in Purbasthali1, a Sufal Bangla stall in Burdwan town and 17 deep tubewells for irrigation across the district are the prominent projects that were inaugurated. Also, a new regional forensic laboratory in Durgapur was inaugurated by the CM.
“The people of this region won’t have to travel to Kolkata for forensic tests,” the chief minister said, adding, “We’ve spent Rs 4 crore for this