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Centre fact-checks West Bengal govt on rural development, claims crores siphoned off through fake MNREGA cards

The central government responded to West Bengal's allegations of discrimination in rural development schemes, presenting data showing increased funding for the state. Union Minister Giriraj Singh highlighted the significant financial support provided by the Modi government and spoke of the level of corruption in the state.

Centre fact-checks West Bengal govt on rural development, claims crores siphoned off through fake MNREGA job cards
First Published Oct 2, 2023, 5:40 PM IST

The Narendra Modi government has responded to allegations made by the West Bengal government regarding discrimination in rural development schemes. Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister, Shri Giriraj Singh, held a significant press conference in Bihar to address these concerns. He stated that, during the current government's tenure, West Bengal has received more funding for rural development schemes than it did under the UPA government.

Giriraj Singh provided data, revealing that West Bengal received only Rs 58,000 crore during the UPA government, while the Ministry of Rural Development, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, has allocated over Rs 2 lakh crore to West Bengal for development in the past nine years.

He highlighted key figures, stating that under schemes like MNREGA, West Bengal has received more than Rs 54,000 crore in the last nine years, compared to just Rs 14,900 crore during the UPA era. Similarly, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, the Modi government has spent over Rs 11,000 crore, more than double the Rs 5,400 crore spent during the UPA government.

Regarding the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, West Bengal received Rs 30,000 crore from the Modi government, a substantial increase from the Rs 4,400 crore allocated during the UPA government. Giriraj Singh also noted that the bank linkage of women in West Bengal under NRLM is now worth about Rs 74,000 crores, compared to just Rs 600 crores during the UPA period.

Additionally, the present government has provided approximately Rs 7,000 crore under NSAP, compared to half of that during the UPA government. Under the Finance Commission, West Bengal received Rs 25,000 crores, whereas it received only Rs 3,200 crores during the UPA era.

The Union Minister criticized the West Bengal government, alleging that it had issued 25 lakh fake MNREGA job cards, resulting in the siphoning of government funds. Despite continuous exposure of these irregularities by the Government of India, the state government failed to take appropriate action. The central government even sent a monitoring team, but the state government did not act on their recommendations.

Giriraj Singh expressed frustration that the West Bengal government was uncooperative in the investigation, and despite multiple requests for a comprehensive action taken report, no action was taken. Eventually, the state government submitted an ATR report that protected wrongdoers.

He lamented that the West Bengal government was not cooperating with the central government's efforts to combat corruption. Giriraj Singh emphasized that the Modi government had taken steps to combat corruption and expose syndicates in West Bengal, which had led to false propaganda aimed at tarnishing the government's image.

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