Kolkata: With an eye on next year`s panchayat
polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday
showered more sops on the Muslim community including new loan
schemes, creating an employment bank and promising official
stamp on 10,000 madrasas.
The announcement comes days after she declared a monthly
honorarium and housing subsidy for imams in the state.
Outlining schemes undertaken for uplift of Muslims in the
state, she said her government had increased allocation for
the minorities department by 73 per cent in the state budget
for the current financial year.
"Our aim is to see that our brothers and sisters pursue
their studies properly, receive training and get jobs. And
those who cannot get jobs, can start businesses by taking loan
from the government," Banerjee told a meeting organised by the
West Bengal Minority Development and Finance Corporation at
Barasat in North 24-Paraganas district.
Noting that a "comprehensive employment bank" would be
set up to cater to the growing job needs of the youths
belonging to the minority community, she said it would have
its network in every district where there would be a system to
The chief minister said `bhavans` will be set up in the
districts from where they would get all the assistance
required. She also announced loans and stipends to 75,000
The panchayat polls, due in May next year, would be
regarded as the first trial of strength for the party which
took office last year.
The Trinamool Congress has, however, hinted that the
panchayat election could be advanced to this winter.