The chief minister directed to route funds meant for rural road construction to help completion of nearly 10 lakh Banglar Bari houses for which, she alleged: “The Centre has arbitrarily stopped releasing funds like what they did for MGNREGA over the past six months, whereas the constitutional obligation is there to clear the wage dues by 15 days.”
Mamata was conducting the administrative review meeting for the East and West Burdwan twin districts in Durgapur today. The meeting incidentally was expanded as a virtual meeting with the entire Bengal district magistrates and zilla parishad sabhadhipatis as the chief minister gave fresh instructions on MGNREGA, Banglar Bari to the districts.
She repeatedly warned the officials and the governing bodies of the three-tier panchayat about financial hardship and said, “Try to rearrange the jobs and prioritize the works as per the immediate requirements.” Then she instructed: “No new enrollment for Banglar Bari beneficiaries. The Centre has also deleted the names of listed beneficiaries, arbitrarily. Soon, I’ll visit Delhi on the issue.”
The Cm then asked the chief secretary, HK Dwivedi to exploit the fund for state’s 40 per cent share allocated for rural road construction and utilise the sum in completing the remaining Banglar Bari houses.
She said, “The panchayat samiti and the zilla parishads get funds from 15 Finance Commission and they should utilize the fund to construct the roads. We’ll use our share in housing temporarily as the Centre has stopped releasing funds.” The state incidentally bears 40 per cent support in the Banglar Bari scheme. About the recent controversy on renaming of central schemes, she said, “There’s no harm when Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh alter the names of their choice. We also have the right to give a regional name to the schemes.”
The State chief secretary said, “We’ve Rs 1,200 cr fund reserve for completion of 1.01 lakh houses. Also, we’ve another Rs 3,000 cr separate fund but we’ve plans for 50 lakh new houses for the beneficiaries in next five years.” The CM was quick to add another Rs 800 cr to the reserve, diverting state’s share on road construction to housing. She said: “We disburse Rs 800 cr to the panchayats for road construction that they’ll have to arrange from the Finance Commission.”