Mamata announces exemption of agri tax, urges Centre to waive state's farm loans

Report by: 
Durgadas Bandopadhyay
Kharagpur
3 Apr 2017

A day before the new Uttar Pradesh Government is going to take a crucial decision on waiver of farm loan, West Bengal today has declared exemption of agricultural tax in order to give relief to farmers of the state who had been hit hard by demonetisation and Kharif crop loss.

The announcement was today made by chief minister Mamata Banerjee during her speech at a rally at the College Ground at Kharagpur. She also appealed to the Centre to waive farm loans of West Bengal. ``The Centre is discriminating between states ruled by the BJP and those ruled by non-BJP ones. While West Bengal has 88 fast-track courts and 45 women's police stations, Gujarat has zero fast track courts. Yet, the Centre allocated Rs 400 crore to Gujarat while Bengal received nothing. I also want to know why the Centre has stopped funds for Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) and development in Left Wing Extremism affected areas,'' Mamata said. The chief minister also alleged that banks were not sanctioning loans to self-help groups in the state under Anandadhara scheme and students were not getting money under Swami Vivekananda Means cum Merit Scholarship. She also reiterated that she would not brook any communal tension or trouble in the state.

"I believe in equality of all religions. Just as I participate in Durga Puja, I participate in Eid and Christmas also. I was born in a Hindu family. I do not need lectures on Hinduism from people who use religion for politics," the Trinamool Congress supremo said. Referring to rumours of a ban on Mangal Aaroti at famous Dakkhineshwar Kali temple, Mamata said: "One Union minister posted on FB that we have banned Mangal Aaroti at Dakkhineshwar. How can a Union minister spread misleading information? What country are we living in? I pray to Maa Bhabotarini to give them (BJP) some good sense. We never indulge in politics over Maa Kali." Mamata said. She also requested people to always cross-check the information they saw on social media.

Regarding the controversy over impure eggs or `plastic eggs' as they are being called now, the chief minister said all those were mere rumours and she asked people to eat eggs without fear.  Earlier at an administrative meeting to take stock of West Midnapore district's developmental work the Chief Minister directed the district administration to take strict action against those private hospitals and nursing homes who were not following government rules and regulations and harassing common people. Mamata arrived here on a five-day tour of the Paschimanchal (western region) of the state.
The chief minister is expected to announce the bifurcation of West Midnapore and Burdwan district during her five-day long tour. Jhargram district will be carved out of West Midnapore and it will be announced as the 22nd district of the state on April 4. Burdwan district will be bifurcated into Burdwan East and Burdwan West. Burdwan West will be the 23rd district that will start functioning as a new district on April 7 in the presence of the chief minister.

The chief minister will hold the administrative review meeting of Purulia and Bankura districts respectively on April 5 and 6. From Bankura, she will go to Asansol to attend the programme where the new district of Burdwan West will be announced on April 7. Earlier today, Mamata  inaugurated a helipad at Dumurjala in Howrah district. Inaugurating the helipad, Mamata said 26 government helipads have been constructed across the state at district headquarters and other important locations. She said helipads will help air transport and helicopter services in the state.