Centre owes Bengal Rs 53,000 cr, state's schemes better than Centre's Ayushman Bharat, PM-Kisan: Derek O' Brien

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], June 9 (ANI): The Centre owes West Bengal Rs 53,000 crore, said Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O' Brien on Tuesday, in reply to Union Home Minister Amit Shah's speech at the virtual rally held earlier today.

The TMC leader also said that there was 'bunkum" in the facts presented by Shah, and presented a comparison of the various schemes started by the Centre and those by the WB government.

"53 thousand crores owed to Bengal (by the Centre). Rs 36,000 crore owed to Bengal from centrally sponsored schemes, devolution of funds Rs 11,000 crore, food subsidy of Rs 3,000 crore, GST of last two months about Rs 3,000 crore, yes you have cleared the GST now for the last year December, January, February," Brien said at a conference held through video conferencing.

Speaking about the schemes by the Centre he said, "Ayushman Bharat started in 2018, Mamata Banerjee started Swasthya Sathi in 2016, two years ago. The insurance (scheme) is at the par with the Centre, it empowers the women. The state bears the cost, in this, the entire scheme is supported by the state government. The Centre had a target of 1.12 crore families, Swasthya Sathi has enrolled 1.5 crore families as of November 2019. It is fully cashless, all treatment in govt hospitals in Bengal is free, above there is a Rs 5 lakh insurance if you go to a private hospital."

He also said that the schemes for farmers started by the Centre were already being run by the state government in Bengal.

"As of February 2020, over 5 crore farmers were yet to receive full dues under PM-Kisan Samman. Under Kisan Samman, 80 per cent of the cost is borne by the state government. Bengal started Krishak Bandhu scheme where farmers get Rs 5 thousand per acre, the state government bears the cost, Rs 2 lakh per family is given in case of death of a farmer. Bangla Shasya Bima crop insurance scheme is free of cost for the farmer, the farmers do not pay the premium," he said.

Further targeting the Centre he added, "RBI has said that Indian economy is set to contract for the first time in 41 years. We have made many suggestions, we suggested putting in Rs 10,000 in bank accounts of unorganized sector workers or migrant workers also. Also, you could take money from MPLADS fund and generate Rs 8-10 thousand crore."

Earlier today, the Home Minister repeatedly urged West Bengal Chief Minister to send the list for availing Prime Minister Samman Nidhi scheme for farmers and accused the state government of stalling this benefit from reaching farmers in the state.

Shah also lamented that the Ayushman Bharat scheme was not being implemented by the TMC government in West Bengal. (ANI)