Centre witholding NREGA funds to West Bengal: CM

The Centre was not releasing Rs 1,700 crore in NREGA funds to West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee claimed Tuesday.

Updated: Sep 28, 2010, 16:16 PM IST

Kolkata: The Centre was not releasing Rs
1,700 crore in NREGA funds to West Bengal, Chief Minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee claimed Tuesday.

"Despite placing full account for expenditure under
the NREGA scheme in the state, the central government is yet
to give Rs 1,700 crore," Bhattacharjee told a panchayat
workers` rally here.

"They are giving Rs 100 crore or Rs 150 crore in
phases, but have withheld the main amount," he said.
Ministers of state cabinet had visited concerned
ministries in Delhi to get the funds released "but to no
avail", he said.

Stating that several districts in the state were
reeling under drought and share croppers were without work,
the chief minister said lack of NREGA funds was proving
costly.

Training his guns on opposition Trinamool Congress,
Bhattacharjee alleged that in Maoist-affected West Midnapore
district, panchayats had not been allowed to function for
several months by both the Maoists and the opposition.
"Some evil forces are working in the rural areas
hampering development work by panchayats," he said.
Without naming the Trinamool, he said "the opposition
party is behaving in an unruly manner, this should be
stopped."

He also exhorted panchayat workers, who came from
different parts of the state, to serve the rural people with
dedication.
"You are the face of the government in the villages."

PTI