New Delhi: After heeding to West Bengal Chief
Minister Mamata Banerjee`s demand on FDI in retail, the Centre
on Wednesday gifted her with a special package of Rs 8,750 crore for
development of backward region of the state.
The proposal of the Planning Commission, which was being
sought by Banerjee for long, was cleared by the Union Cabinet
The package is proposed to be implemented in the state`s
backward areas affected by naxalism, including Jungle Mahal
area which comprises West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura.
The package is expected to cover aspects like rural
employment, safe drinking water, watershed and rural road
Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh had recently
toured such areas to assess the requirement for funds.
Ramesh had later said that he had discussed with Banerjee
how to use rural development programmes effectively in the
Jungle Mahal to fight Maoist forces.
Significantly, the package was cleared on a day when the
central government announced suspension of its decision to
allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail.
Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress is a key constituent
of the ruling UPA, had been opposing the FDI decision and
demanding that it be put on hold.
The state has been facing financial crunch as its debt
stock, according to the state finances report of the Reserve
Bank, was Rs 1.9 lakh crore.