Mamata questions funding for food bill
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Last Updated: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 23:57
Kolkata: Raising questions on funding for the National Food Security bill, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said monetary provision for state governments to fund it should be ensured, failing which it could not be implemented.

"In the food security bill there is no monetary provision. We have to arrange the monetary provision, otherwise it cannot be implemented," she said during an interaction with a group of journalists.

Stating that any move to decontrol the price of diesel and hike the price of LPG would be opposed by her party, Banerjee said "I am worried about the people."

She said she had also requested the Prime Minister not to withdraw the subsidy on fertiliser.

"Farmers are our asset. The Centre should not withdraw the subsidy on fertiliser," she said.

The Chief Minister said she would meet the Planning Commission early next month to submit requirements of the state.

Banerjee said that she would plead for declaring Darjeeling and Coochbehar as backward districts. "While Sikkim receives 95 per cent subsidy from the Centre, why not Darjeeling?" she asked.

She also called for districts like North 24 Parganas which have considerable minority population, to be included in the list of backward districts.

She reiterated her government's intention for reorgansiation of districts like in UP, on the ground that division of districts would help to secure more funds from the Planning Commission.

"I feel four more districts should be created in our state for better administrative purposes," Banerjee said. She said three commissionerates have been created to curb the crime rate, while 65 women police stations and three CBI courts have been set up.

Banerjee dwelt at length on her government's steps to create more employment opportunities (2.75 lakh government jobs) after assuming power in May last year. "We have to look more at industry and also lay more stress on agriculture," she said.

She said with agricultural production up in the state, her government was eager to export rice to Bangladesh. "We have opened six channels for export to Bangladesh," she said.

"I want export of our agricultural produce to US and other countries," she said.


First Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 23:57

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