West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday strongly opposed the Centre’s cash transfer scheme, saying the poor will not get the money as there is no mechanism to implement it.
“We don’t agree with the scheme. West Bengal never agreed for this. How will you transfer the cash? What is the mechanism? Where is the machinery? There must be some mechanism so that money can reach (the beneficiaries),” she said. “Now also in the country, there are so many areas where there are no banks, no post offices. First, they (government) have to set up banks and post offices. They have to open accounts for all the people — from NREGA to all the social development programmes. Otherwise, the poor people won’t get their money,” Mamata told reporters in Parliament House.
She also contested the Delhi Chief Minister’s suggestion that a family of five can get rice, wheat and dal with Rs 600 a month. “Even a cup of tea is available for Rs 4 today,” she said.
The government recently announced a scheme for direct cash payout of subsidies to beneficiaries from January 1 next year, calling it a “game changer”. The subsidy amount will be transferred to beneficiaries’ bank accounts linked to Aadhaar cards.
To questions on the Bill for SC/ST quota in promotions, the Trinamool Congress chief said, “We are not opposed to this Bill. Our party is for SCs and STs and will not take a stand against them.” She said her state had passed the OBC reservation Bill, in which 13-14 per cent of the Muslims will benefit. I will be happy if they do good things for the Muslims, for OBCs and economic backward class also. We have to also think of the minorities in OBCs.”
She said the Centre must chalk out a scheme for the economically backward class.