Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while releasing TMC’s election manifesto for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls on Wednesday announced that for the first time every family in Bengal will be assisted with a ‘Minimum Basic Income’ support.
While elaborating more, she said, “Under this scheme, 1.6 crore eligible general category families will be given a monthly cash transfer of Rs 500 (yearly Rs 6,000) and SC/ST category families will be given a monthly cash transfer of Rs 1,000 (Rs 12,000 a year).”
She said that in the ‘Minimum Basic Income’ scheme, direct transfers will be made to the woman head of the family.
While terming youths and students as the future of Bengal and for their holistic development, Mamata has increased the budget three times for education, sports, and culture in her manifesto.
To ensure higher education for all eligible students, she also promised to launch a new ‘Student Credit Card’ soon. This credit card will have a credit limit of Rs 10 lakh with an interest rate of only 4 per cent, with a provision of easy repayment so that students do not have to depend upon their parents to continue their studies.
The TMC supremo also promised that in the next five years, she will uplift an additional 35 lakh people from extreme poverty.
“I will also reduce the unemployment rate by half by creating 5 lakh new jobs annually. Even during the pandemic through our ‘Khadya Sathi’ scheme, we have ensured food security for 9.5 crore people. In the coming days, a new facility under ‘Khadya Sathi’ scheme will ensure delivery of monthly ration to 1.5 crore families at their doorstep,” she said.
Highlighting her government’s work in the investment sector, she said, “We have increased the number of factories in Bengal by 15 per cent through which income of all labourers have increased by 77 per cent. To speed up further industrial developments, we will create as many as 10 lakh new Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) annually. We promise to add 2,000 big industrial units to be added to the existing base of 10,000 units in the next five years.”
She claimed that under the Bengal Awas Yojna rural scheme, 33.7 lakh houses have been built for rural families and in the coming days she promised to build additional 25 lakh low cost houses for the poor people.
“Each house will have tap drinking water and an improved drainage system. I will also appoint a special task force to examine and propose OBC status to all the communities who are not currently recognised as OBCs like ‘Mahisyas’, Tili, Tamul, Shahas, but were part of the recommended list of OBC communities in the Mandal Commission. Along with this, expeditious closure will be ensured for the demands of ‘Kisan Jatis’ living as STs in parts of Malda district. I will also aggressively follow up with the government of India for granting ST status to the Mahato community,” the TMC chief said.
In the context of farmers’ welfare schemes, she said, “We are going to provide Rs 10,000 per acre/per annum to all small and marginal farmers through ‘Krishak Bandhu’ scheme.”
“We will also increase the present health and education budgets twice to ensure an even better development for the people of Bengal. For holistic development of the people of Terai-Dooars region, we will set up a Special Development Board which will have proportional representation from all communities of the area. I will work closely with key stakeholders and locals from the hills, including elected representatives, to strive for long lasting peace and development in the region, as well as reach a permanent political solution,” she added.
Mamata claimed that Bengal is now witnessing a threat from outsiders who want to disrupt the harmony. “It is imperative for us to avert this threat. I promise that I will stand by each and every person of Bengal across all communities to protect their fundamental rights,” she said.