West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday slammed the Union government, claiming the special economic package announced by it has nothing of help to the states and is "a big zero".
Banerjee alleged the central government was "misleading people" during the COVID-19 crisis. "The special economic package announced by the Union
government is nothing but a big zero. It is an eyewash to fool the people. There is nothing for the unorganised sector, public spending and employment generation," she said while addressing a press conference in Kolkata.
"On Tuesday, when the PM announced Rs 20 lakh crore package, we were hopeful that the interest of the states will be looked into, the FRBM limit would be increased. But today, after the Union finance minister made the announcements, it was found that everything that was said yesterday was a bluff," said Banerjee, who also the ruling Trinamool Congress.
Hitting out at the Centre for allegedly not offering anything to the financially starved states, The Trinamool Congress supremo claimed it was trying to "bulldoze" cooperative federalism.
She also slammed the saffron camp for politicising and instigating people through fake news. "Their weapon is 'danga' (riot) and fake news,” she added.
Further, she said the only way to bring back the state’s economy on track is to strengthening the infrastructure of rural Bengal. “I would like to request everybody to not panic because of the pandemic. We will fight it together. We are going ahead with the measured relaxation because we feel that life cannot come to a halt due to the outbreake. We believe that COVID-19 is going to remain with us in the near future. Therefore, it is important to give significant focus on rural economy,” she added.
Banerjee also said that her government would never follow the the move of some BJP-ruled states on tweaking labour laws in the name of reviving economy. “We will never allow this to happen in Bengal. They have made some changes in the labour laws and this is dangerous. This law will snatch away workers’ job security. Such law will lead to exploitation of workers. The employees and labourers in those states where the law has been changed will force to work more and they will be paid less.”
She said, “I would like to assure all those workers that in Bengal we are not going to make any changes in the labour laws. We will employ
them under the 100-days-work scheme (MGNREGA).”
(With inputs from PTI)