Faced with growing demands for a hike in dearness allowance (DA) by West Bengal government employees, state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said she is not a magician who can fulfil all wishes. Banerjee asserted that her government is making its best effort to balance the needs of all.
“I am not a magician that money will come down from the sky on demand, as sweets did in Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (movie). Money has to be collected,” she said. The CM was referring to Satyajit Ray’s 1969 fantasy film ‘Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne’ in which sweetmeats descended from the sky.
“Despite the Centre’s deprivation, we have given three per cent DA,” she said while speaking at a programme for distribution of government services in Bankura district. Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya while presenting the budget on February 15 announced an additional three per cent of DA for government employees and others, who were demanding the same at par with the Centre.
Attacking the BJP-led NDA government, Banerjee claimed that the Centre is not providing funds for the 100-day MGNREGA job guarantee scheme. "Even those who have worked under the scheme are not being given their wages under the scheme," she said.
Alleging that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is not releasing funds to West Bengal for schemes like MGNREGA, housing or road construction, Banerjee said that her government does not evict poor people, but gives them land rights.
Claiming that the BJP government at the Centre was depriving the TMC-ruled West Bengal, she said, "It is as if they are giving their own money. It is our money which they are taking away on account of tax collections and state governments are entitled to their share of that."
Banerjee said that the people of the state want their rights and not doles. She said that if her brothers and sisters make progress, then only Bengal will move ahead. The chief minister, who was touring the district ahead of the panchayat election, also spoke about her government's schemes for minorities, scheduled castes and tribes and OBCs. Banerjee said that 1.5 crore people work in the MSME sector in West Bengal.