West Bengal Affairs

Bengal won't accept bypassing of finance dept in distribution of MGNREGA: Dr Amit Mitra

Stating that the Centre was trying to undermine the federal structure of the country, the West Bengal Government today said they will not accept the decision to bypass the state finance department in sending funds for MGNREGA scheme.
"Earlier, the money for 100 days work would come to the state finance department from where we used to distribute it to other departments. Now they are starting a 'Tughlaqi-system' where they are trying to avoid the finance department," State Finance Minister Dr Amit Mitra told newspersons.
A meeting of different departments called by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decided that they would write a strong protest letter to the Centre in this regard. "It is a step against federalism and autonomy of the state. It is as if they do not trust the states. It is against the legislative process and undermines the federal structure," the State Finance Minister said hoping the Centre and other states would understand the issue.
Dr Mitra said now the Centre was trying to send money directly to beneficiaries. State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said they were not going to accept the decision which "undermines the jurisdiction of the state." He alleged that the Centre had shown a tendency to keep the state government in the dark on such decisions. Dr Mitra said they discussed how to start economic reforms without affecting the common man at a special meeting, where secretaries of various departments were also present. "We want a win-win situation where reforms will not hamper the lives of common people," he added.