Mamata questions funding for food bill

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said monetary provision for state governments to fund it should be ensured, failing which it could not be implemented.

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

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.


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