This Article is From Mar 18, 2021

Mamata Banerjee Promises Minimum Annual Income In Trinamool Manifesto

"We will bring credit card of Rs 10 lakh for students for pursuing higher studies. Only 4 per cent interest will be charged," Mamata Banerjee said.

Mamata Banerjee released the Trinamool Congress's election manifesto on Wednesday.

New Delhi:

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has promised a minimum basic income for all eligible families, a special credit card for students and a task force to examine the inclusion of several communities under the OBC category if voted to power. The promises were in the new manifesto of her Trinamool Congress which was announced on Wednesday-- a week after it was postponed when the Chief Minister sustained a leg injury in Nandigram.

"For the first time, every family in Bengal will be extended a minimum basic income. Under this, 1.6 crore general category families will get Rs 500 a month, whereas families belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes and OBCs will get Rs 1,000," Ms Banerjee said, adding, "We are working for all castes and religions".

The money, she said, will be directly transferred to the woman head of a family.

In a politically crucial decision, the Trinamool Congress chief also said if elected, the government will also appoint a Special Task Force to examine and propose OBC status for all communities that are not recognised as OBCs, like Mahishya, Tili, Tamul and Sahas.

"We will also ask the Government of India to grant ST status to Mahatos," the Trinamool chief said a day after the BJP outreach to the ''left out'' Hindus in the OBC list in the state.  

On Wednesday, BJP chief JP Nadda had visited the backward district of Bankura, where he said that if elected to power, the BJP would form a committee and as per the Mandal Commission's recommendations on who are eligible, take steps "for their inclusion and bring them to the mainstream".

"Mamata-ji is indulging in the politics of appeasement to retain her chair in Bengal. It is unfortunate that because of it, people of many left out Hindu castes like 'Mahisya' and 'Teli' have been deprived of OBC status in Bengal. This is an injustice towards them," Mr Nadda had said.

In another promise that's expected to appeal to the youth, Ms Banerjee said once re-elected, her government will bring a credit card with a cap of Rs 10 lakh for students for pursuing higher studies. "Only 4 per cent interest will be charged," the Chief Minister said, "and there will be no need for a guarantor. The government will stand guarantee."  

A boon was promised to farmers too -- Rs 10,000 per acre per annum to all small and marginal ones through the Krishak Bandhu scheme. At the moment they get Rs 6000 per annum.  

Among Ms Banerjee's other promises on Wednesday was the setting up of 10 lakh new MSMEs and 2000 new big industrial units in the state over the next five years.

"In the MSME sector we are number 1... we have created lakhs of jobs in the MSME sector," she said.

In the housing sector, a big promise was made too -- 25 lakh low-cost houses to be built, equipped with drinking water on the tap and improved drainage.  

She also promised home delivery of rations to 1.5 crore families. Rations are now free. There will be no charge for home delivery.  

"We are creating a world class economy in Bengal. We want to create new jobs and a new path for the youth of Bengal... We have fallen back because of COVID-19 pandemic," added the Chief Minister, whose Trinamool Congress is seeking a third straight term in power in face of a massive BJP challenge.

Pointing to the metro projects in the city which have generated massive employment, she said, all of those were sanctioned by her when she was the Rail Minister.