By Raju Bista
IANS | February 2
I congratulate Honble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanji for this forward thinking, growth inducing budget, based on the six core pillars of development -- Health, Infrastructure, Inclusive Development, Human Capital, Innovation and Governance.
Based on our civilizational philosophy of "Sarve Santu Niramaya" our Govt has allocated Rs 2.23 Lakh Crore of our citizens towards Health and Wellbeing in budget this year. Out of this Rs 64,180 crore have been allocated towards Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, which will be used for ensuring health & well-being for all. Especially for a health care deficient state like West Bengal, where the state government has failed to cater to the healthcare needs of the people, Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana will go a long way in improving healthcare services right from grassroots, block-level to the districts.
To provide necessary boost to the economy, our Govt has announced an increase in government spending to the tune of Rs 5.54 lakh crore of capital expenditure, which will be spent towards infrastructure development. Along with this, our government has committed Rs 2.87 lakh crore towards Jal Jeevan Mission, which will ensure safe and potable drinking water for all. Special focus on Urban Transport, development of New Metro Rail projects, Energy Sector reforms and reforms in Gas sector, together these projects, are going to have tremendous trickle-down effect on our entire economy and open up massive opportunities for employment and development. Focus on developing 7 mega textile parks and development of Tier II and Tier III cities will ensure job creation opportunities and economic prosperity for all, including our region.
On behalf of the people from Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars and the rest of West Bengal, I thank Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modiji and Hon'ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanji for making special provisions for our region and state in this budget.
The tea garden workers from Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars have faced innumerable discrimination by the West Bengal Govt. The Union Govt has announced a special financial package worth Rs 1,000 crore towards ensuring the welfare of the tea garden workers from West Bengal and Assam. In accommodating the needs of the tea garden workers, the Union Govt has shown deepest of care towards our brother and sisters from the tea gardens, and this will go a long way in ensuring justice for them. Especially women and children from the tea gardens, who have been relegated to the margins due to the continued apathy and indifference of the West Bengal government, are set to benefit from this major announcement.
It was under the visionary leadership of Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modiji that our government introduced the long awaited Labour Reforms to ensure a better life for our workers. The announcement adds onto those reforms and will help in guaranteeing a better life and higher standard of living for our tea garden workers.
I also thank Nirmalaji for announcing Rs 25,000 crore towards developing the highway system from Kolkata to Siliguri. This will be the infrastructural spinal-cord for our state, and will become the first step towards transforming West Bengal to a modern state with world class infrastructure.