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HomeNational'Bengal Govt Misusing Central Funds' MPNRC News
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‘Bengal Govt Misusing Central Funds’ MPNRC News

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Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that the TMC-ruled government in the state is using central funds for corruption. He alleged that most of these funds are being misused in most of the schemes implemented by the central government in the state.

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The move came after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met the Prime Minister in Delhi and submitted a memorandum to clear over Rs 1 lakh crore of arrears under central schemes and other financial assistance.

The Chief Minister highlighted that the state government is owed funds to the Center under schemes like MNREGA, PM Awas Yojana and PM Gram Sadak Yojana. She said that the pending funds are necessary for proper implementation of these schemes so that the beneficiaries can get maximum benefits.

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In the letter, the officer alleged that money from some schemes was spent by showing fake usage certificates. The state government showed that MNREGA funds were used for plantation drives, but they also alleged that crores of rupees were wasted as there was nothing on the ground.

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“MNREGA funds have been siphoned off in the name of plantation over the past few years. Most of the schemes, otherwise actively implemented in the panchayat area, were ignored or closed and the authorities were instructed to implement schemes related to plantation of mangroves or fruit trees under MGNREGA schemes. Personal beneficiaries, mostly ruling party (TMC) he did not bother to do anything. They cut their own and administrative commissions,” the official claimed.

Mamata had also said that there was no financial assistance from the state government during emergencies like the Covid-19 pandemic as well as natural calamities like Yas and Cyclone Amphan.

This was Mamata’s third letter saying that all protocols are being followed and hence the funds should be released. Earlier in the Parliament, the Agriculture Minister had clearly stated that Bengal did not follow the rules and the Center has stopped funding for the same reason.

Even as Mamata visits Modi in the national capital, the central government team is visiting various districts of the state to assess the land situation under the schemes outlined by the chief minister.

The official gave the financial calculations under the scheme mentioned in his letter, saying: I request you (Prime Minister) to direct the concerned departments to send such (central) teams to conduct a comprehensive audit and expose the misuse of central funds. I believe the misuse of funds will shock the entire country,” he said, adding, “The central government has been very generous to the people of West Bengal.” The BJP leader said that the central teams visiting Bengal have also raised the issue.

Sources in the state government said, “From 2018, whatever queries were raised, were answered and besides, another final report was submitted. These claims are not correct.”
Sources on the ground said that MNREGA funds have been stopped at many places and names of schemes have also been changed. For example, PM Gram Sadak Yojana to ‘Bangla Gramin Sadak Yojana’.

The state government has denied these claims but TMC leaders have repeatedly argued in favor of the name change. According to him, if the Center has reduced Bengal’s share and more money is being paid by the state government, it is right to change the names of the schemes.

Reacting to the official’s letter, the TMC said it was a clear attempt to withhold central funds. Party leader Sudeep Banerjee said, “This is an attempt to block Bengal economically; I will raise this issue in Parliament.

In the face of panchayat elections, the state government is in dire need of funds. But if these funds are not disbursed, the BJP, which is trying to make deep inroads into the state, is likely to use the corruption angle in its campaign against the Trinamool Congress.

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