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With General Elections In Sight Social Welfare Tops In West Bengal Budget for FY 2024-25

Updated: Feb 09, 2024 04:16:07pm

With General Elections In Sight Social Welfare Tops In West Bengal Budget for FY 2024-25

Kolkata, Feb 9 (KNN) West Bengal's Finance Minister, Chandrima Bhattacharya, unveiled the State's budget for the financial year 2024-25, emphasizing social welfare, employment generation, and infrastructure development on Thursday.

However, she accused the Central government of withholding rightful funds, totalling Rs 1.18 lakh crore, intended for various crucial programs including MGNREGA, Prime Minister Awas Yojna, and National Health Mission.

The budget, amounting to Rs 3.7 lakh crore, includes significant increases in financial assistance under the 'Lakshmir Bhandar' scheme, raised to Rs 1,200 for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities, and Rs 1,000 for other categories.

She emphasised that the State administration has prioritised the welfare of women and children by implementing diverse initiatives such as Lakshmir Bhandar, Rupashree Prakalpa, Kanyashree Prakalpa, as well as pension schemes for the elderly, widows, and persons with disabilities.

Additionally, she noted a recent surge in applications, with 13 lakh submissions for Lakshmir Bhandar, 9 lakh for Old Age Pension, and 1.04 lakh for Widow Pension received through the Duare Sarkar and Sarasori Mukhyamantri campaign channels.

Moreover, State government employees can anticipate a total 8 per cent increase in dearness allowance (DA), with an additional 4 per cent to be implemented from May, supplementing the initial 4 per cent declared in January.

NG Khaitan, President of the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, commended the Finance Minister's efforts, describing the budget as "fairly balanced."

Khaitan lauded its focus on enhancing infrastructure, bolstering exports, agricultural productivity, skill development, and social security, aiming to attract global players while ensuring transparent governance.

The State's budget presentation comes amidst ongoing tensions between the West Bengal government and the Centre, with allegations of financial withholding exacerbating the already strained relations between the two entities.

Despite the challenges, the State government remains resolute in its commitment to advancing social welfare and economic prosperity.

West Bengal's 2024-25 budget reflects a concerted effort to address pressing societal needs and drive economic growth, although against a backdrop of contentious federal-state relations.

(KNN Bureau)


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