This is a humble submission to the elders, youngsters, sisters `and brothers of Bengal, on behalf of All India Trinamool Congressfor a better and brighter tomorrow.
Over the last 35 years, the State has gone down in every direction. Now the time has arrived for change and time cannot wait. It is better late than never. We stand today at the cross roads of history.
The whole world is watching with great interest what the people of West Bengal will decide now. Are we going to move towards a golden age of Bengal? The alternative is to remain trapped under the oppressive, exploitative and authoritarian `Party-Cadre` misrule of the Left Front and the CPI(M).
This change cannot be achieved without your support. We look forward to a people centric government and a people centric reforms agenda.
Our mission is to reconstruct Bengal with a positive attitude with creativity and empathy, always with a human face.
The following pages have two different dimensions - Part-A vividly captures the sad story of the decline of the State with irrefutable and shocking evidence. The steady decay of West Bengal under the Left Rule is pathetic - the end result of the deliberate and incompetent policies over the last three and a half decades.
Part-B brings forth a blueprint of the regeneration and rejuvenation of Bengal that we, All India Trinamool Congress, visualize.
We propose to rebuild the industrial might of Bengal with an eye towards massive employment generation. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will become the fulcrum of this regeneration while medium and large` industrial investments will join shoulders to shoulder with the small, to pull Bengal out of this terrible present impasse.
Agriculture, the life force of fertile Bengal, will be made to prosper again through manifold policy instruments engaging the farmers and never forgetting a friendly ecology.
Infrastructure, is the backbone of our plan of resurgence which has all but disappeared from the State today.
Underlying all of these is the fabric of a healthy Bengal and educated Bengal. A Bengal that is all inclusive of SC,ST,OBC, minorities, women, youth, students and anyone who is weak or disadvantaged. We have addressed these issues in the following pages.
Good and impartial governance is the bull work of any society. We would like to bring about an administrative reform, police reform and a reform of the supportive structure of government always with a human face. We will always be concerned about the wellbeing of whether it be an officer or a constable or a clerk.
I hereby, urge them to be people friendly, work friendly and transparent in their dealings with the citizens of the State. I reach out to them for their fullest support in this endeavour of change, development and growth with fairness and justice.
All India Trinamool Congresswill give equal importance to the revival of the great traditions of Bengal - literature, films, theatre, poetry, music, paintings and science and technology. These were the main components of the renaissance of West Bengal at one point of history.
Our guiding lights will be the thoughts and philosophy of Rabindra Nath and Nazrul Islam. We will draw on the powerful words and deeds of Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna. The work of Jagdish Chandra in the world of science and nature will always inspire us.
Keeping these in view, our government will start a Tagore Centre for Universal Values and a Vivekananda Centre for International Understanding. Nazrul Islam, a New research Centre will also be set up.
We will return to our roots to go forward to build the new future - a better and brighter tomorrow for all. Soon, we wish to be able to say that `what Bengal thinks today - India thinks tomorrow`.
All of these will be achieved with the courage and resilience , we draw from Kabi Guru`s famous words - `Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high....`
(Mamata Banerjee), 14.3.2011
Irrefutable evidence of a systematic decline and steady decay of West Bengal under Left Rule
The Chemistry of Red Ruin of West Bengal`s Economy
1. Dramatic decline of industry
2. State government in a shameful debt trap: The ruin of public finances
3. Creaking infrastructure
4. Agriculture languishing
Ilrrefutable Statistics of Decline and Decay in Industry
Share of Manufacturing in state GDP registers a dramatic fall between 1976 and 2009
In 1975-76, share of manufacturing sector in state`s economy was 19 percent. By 2008-09, this figure had fallen to a mere 7.4 percent.
While West Bengal`s manufacturing was going down, Gujarat`s manufacturing share went up from 19 percent in 1975-76 to 29.6 percent in 2007-08. Even Orissa`s manufacturing share rose from 8 percent in 1975-76 to 13.6 percent in 2008-09.
Government with a begging bowl: State in debt trap
The irresponsible government –
The total outstanding liability of West Bengal is Rs. 1,68,684 crore in 2009-10 !!!
Source - State Finances, A Study of State Budgets, 2009-10, Reserve Bank of India
West Bengal shamefully has one of the highest debt to GDP ratio in India
The central government passed a legislation in 2004-05 for all states of India to pass a Fiscal Res-ponsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM). West Bengal did not. pass this till 2010.
While other states adopted the FRBM Act, West Bengal government continued its irresponsible spending spree. The government funds were cornered by the CPI (M) and its cadres.
This inflicted a huge blow to the state as West Bengal lost massively because it could not take advantage of the Debt Consolidation and Relief Facility (DCRF) of the central government.
Due to non-enactment of Fiscal Responsibility Legislation West Bengal could not avail of total financial benefit of Rs. 494.24 crore during 2008-09 towards reduction in annual installment of GOI loans and waiver of interest
Only before elections, the state has now woken up to pass this legislation [Fiscal Responsibility Legislation] as an eye wash to the people. As a result, West Bengal`s public finances continued to deteriorate
So critical is the state`s fiscal health that the ratio of interest payments to the state government`s income is 35 percent as against Twelfth Finance Commission target of 15 percent.
Look at some stark figures of mismanagement of YOUR MONEY
- Ratio of total outstanding liability to Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in West Bengal is 42.9 percent in 2009-10. All states` average is 26.5 percent.
- Committed expenditure as percentage of state`s own revenue is 116 percent for West Bengal which means state`s own revenue falls short of meeting expenses on administrative services, pensions and interest payments.
- Per capita capital outlay in West Bengal - Rs. 339.5 - least among major states in India. Maharashtra has per capita capital outlay of Rs. 2023.8.
- West Bengal`s development expenditure as percent of total expenditure was 49.5 percent in 2005-10 as compared to all states` average of 61.2 percent.
Crisis in healthcare
The bed per 1000 population ratio in West Bengal is 1.16 as against World Health Organisation (WHO) norm of 3
Of the total 2386 hospitals in the state only 385 are public hospitals
It is shocking that only 16 percent of the hospitals are run by the state - CRIMINAL NEGLECT of state`s responsibility to the common people of West Bengal
Rural hospitals account for less than 25 percent of all public hospitals in West Bengal when 72 percent of the population resides in rural areas
Acute shortage of manpower, hospital beds and paramedics throughout the state
The state has only 9 medical colleges when it needs at least 17 medical colleges at 1 per 50 lakh population
Regeneration of West Bengal
Tasks before the new government
The task before the new government is to `REBUILD WEST BENGAL`
To compete with the best and fulfill the aspirations of the people
The new government will...
REVIVE West Bengal`s industrial glory with a three pronged strategy
- Strategy 1- Broad and deep focus on Micro. Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs} of West Bengal
- Strategy 2 - Re-start and re-model closed PSUsacross the state
- Strategy 3 - Attract large private investments in sectors such as engineering, steel, tea, jute, textiles and other areas of manufacturing, mining, power and food processing
2. CREATE employment on a massive scale with
- Focus on labour intensive sectors such as textiles, apparel, leather, jute, tea, handicrafts, entertainment (creative industries), tourism, gems & jewellery and agro based industries for a massive scale - up. This employment will give dignity and self worth to common people of West Bengal
3. DRIVE education and skill formation as engines of empowerment
4. REVAMP healthcare sector with prime focus on rural health
- Hub and spoke model to be developed to connect Sub Centres, Primary Health Centres, Community Health Centres, District Hospitals, Sub Divisional Multi Specialty Hospital and Super Specialty Hospitals at Kolkata and all the districts of the State.
- Diagnostic centres to be multiplied for even spread throughout the state
- Use Information Technology tools across the state connecting bottom of the pyramid to the top in healthcare