- The West Bengal government has decided to slash the funds of the public works Directorate by nearly 60 per cent.
- The TMC government under Mamata Banerjee is running on hoards of government freebies.
Infrastructures run the nation, while freebies run the election campaigns. For the past few years, Mamata Banerjee has been tampering with taxpayers’ funds to garner people’s votes. However, this time, freebies culture has finally taken a toll on the state of West Bengal.
TMC will not make roads
In a bizarre decision, the West Bengal government has decided to slash the funds of the public works directorate by nearly 60 per cent. On August 26, 2021, the Public works (Road) Directorate issued a notification that ordered a 59.55 per cent reduction in the budget of various road schemes. The total budget for PWD and PWRD has been cut by almost 60%, from 4618 crores to 2750 crores. The budget for road works of the South, West, and North zone has been reduced from 1183 crore, 1335.72 crores, and 581.94 crores to 700 crores, 795 crores, and 395 crores respectively. Similarly, the budget for common schemes under PWRD, old and new bridges under PWD & PWRD, utility shifting, and road works of PWD have been cut by 59.55%.
The officials have also been asked to further reduce various road-related activities to cut costs. This means that the roads will now only get a fresh layer on their top without strengthening the foundation of the roads. Similarly, the widening of roads is also supposed to be avoided.
Posting a copy of the notification on Twitter, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari wrote-“ WB Govt maneuvering through bankruptcy, is forcing PWD to bear the brunt. Even 60% reduction in the budget for roads is not enough as officials are being asked to make further restrictions.”
WB Govt maneuvering through bankruptcy, is forcing PWD to bear the brunt. Even 60% reduction in budget for roads is not enough as officials are being asked to make further restrictions.
Development takes a backseat?
WB Govt's brand new scheme:
"Duare Garta" (Potholes @ doorstep). pic.twitter.com/iWVudUEQzS
— Suvendu Adhikari • শুভেন্দু অধিকারী (@SuvenduWB) September 15, 2021
Mamata’s shoddy freebies
The TMC government under Mamata Banerjee is running on hoards of government freebies.
•TMC government has given free school uniforms to more than 8.12 crore school children since 2011 and announced Rs 10,000 to each student of Class XII of the government-aided or sponsored schools and Madrasas to purchase tabs or smartphones for access to online education in light of the pandemic.
•Mamata government is also giving Rs 2,500 to Imams and Rs 1,000 to muezzins.
•99 per cent of the state Muslim population has been put under the OBC category by the government. Madrassa students from Class I to VIII get free books, uniforms, bags, and shoes, while more than 1 crore minority students have availed state’s scholarships so far.
•Despite funds under central government schemes like PM-KISAN and Ayushman Bharat being available, the TMC government is running its schemes, in turn, burdening the state coffers.
•In her first stint as chief minister of the state, the burden of subsidy on food grains had increased nearly a dozen times to Rs 6000 crore.
•Kanyashree scheme for Cash transfers to poor girls aged 13 to 19 has seen 67,96,966 beneficiaries so far.
•Under the Yuvashree scheme, about 40 lakh boys and girls were given bicycles, and around 1 lakh unemployed were given the assistance of Rs 1,500 per month.
The above schemes, along, with many unlisted ones have come at the cost of development in the state. In her attempt to gain popularity and votes, Mamata Banerjee ended up making a big dent in the state’s infrastructural facilities. As reported by TFI, the emptying of west Bengal treasure meant that Mamata Banerjee was rallying for free vaccinations at the expense of the central government.
Read more: After emptying state treasury on pre-election freebies, Mamata now wants vaccination money from Modi govt
Appeasement through freebies always fails; Kejriwal is proof of it
It has become a trend for socialists to advocate for freebies to the public. Free water, free electricity, free gas, and free transportation are some of the key demands being fulfilled by different populist governments from time to time. Recently people of Delhi who had voted for Arvind Kejriwal on the promises of freebies had to pay heavy costs for it as there were no funds left for improving the existing or creating new infrastructural projects. Kejriwal’s freebies policy might have served him well, but it ended up hurting the pockets of taxpayers of Delhi.
Read more: Kejriwal’s freebies mutate into giant potholes and mini rivers on Delhi roads
It is high time that the people of Bengal wake up and start demanding infrastructural and other developments in the state. The socialist policies may attract in the short run, but at the end of the day, only politicians advocating for socialism tend to get rich from the money of their subjects.
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