The National People’s Party (NPP), on January 18, reiterated that the promises made by AITC chief Mamata Banerjee during her election meeting in North Garo Hills were mere election promises, which sound good on paper and in publicity materials.
“They have termed their baaki (credit) card – ‘We Card’ and ‘MYE’ – as revolutionary without realising that such intervention, if could be done, will take any state on a debt trap, which has happened in the case of West Bengal, ” a statement issued hours after the TMC public meeting at Mendipathar said.
DEBT TRAP OF AITC
The WE Card Scheme is actually the rebranded name of the Lakshmir Bhandar Scheme of the West Bengal government. The AITC government of West Bengal has a per capita debt of around Rs 59,000 in 2022-23, and this scheme is one of the reasons for increasing this debt.
Unsurprisingly, the Bengal government is paying between Rs. 80,000 – Rs 90,000 crore as debt repayment and interest to its borrowers every year. Effectively, every citizen of Bengal has to pay Rs.8,000 as debt every year, the statement said.
“National People’s Party would like to tell its citizens not to fall victim to such hollow promises being made by AITC. The National People’s Party has embarked on a mission to take the State forward and we would like the citizens of our State not to get carried away by such promises.
“West Bengal’s accumulated debt for 2022-23 is expected to rise to 5.86 lakh crore, up from Rs 5.28 lakh crore as on March 31, 2022. The West Bengal government is already struggling with a severe financial crunch and finding it hard to keep afloat its social schemes, and this scheme has also affected other schemes,” it said.
With such a steep mountain of debts to clear, it is clear that the All India Trinamool Congress’ (AITC) will also make Meghalaya fall into a debt trap, and leave its people to face the brunt of it.
“National People’s Party will never allow the AITC to fool its citizens with fake promises. We will expose them in totality.
“It is unclear as to from where the AITC will bring the money to implement the schemes, or if it will divert Meghalaya’s funds to West Bengal.
” The registration process for the AITC’s schemes is very flawed, with I-PAC led agents running across the state to register people, while through automated bots, the registration is spiked. These schemes would cost Rs. 2,000 Crore to exchequer, about 50% of State’s expenditure, leading to severe crunch in development work, food grain distribution and salary payment of government officers.
Now AITC wants to sell dreams for citizens of Meghalaya when their leader Mukul Sangma failed to do anything during his tenure,” the statement said.
UNEMPLOYMENT IN WB
West Bengal Unemployment Statistics
West Bengal has the 2nd highest number of women job seekers as per employment exchange 2020 stats – 24.6 lakhs more than Meghalaya’s total women population. As per Employment exchange Stats – The largest number of jobseekers on live register during the year 2019 were in West Bengal (77.6 lakh).
West Bengal Joblessness
The Bengal government claimed they created 10 million jobs, but so far, the state employment exchange reportedly has nearly 3.5 million job-seekers registered.
There are also 2,00,000 permanent jobs across various government departments, besides 1.5 lakh vacant teaching posts. Around 1.3 million applicants for clerical jobs have not got calls since 2018, while 6 lakh aspirants, who had applied for the posts of sub-inspectors and inspectors also didn’t get calls.
Meghalaya’s welfare under NPP
The NPP-led Government has created visible development for the State and has envisaged policies and programmes to take Meghalaya on the growth pedestal.
The National People’s Party (NPP) during its tenure for five years have demonstrated best practice by introducing FOCUS and FOCUS+ schemes which target farmers and producers groups. They are already on ground and people are getting benefits from it, with a coverage of more than 4.5 lakh farmers. Farming households in Meghalaya have been provided with Rs. 10,000 under the schemes. Youth Empowerment through Youth Empowered Organization (YESS) Meghalaya is targeted towards the youth. The YESS program is to create one of the most impactful youth development support systems by providing monetary assistance to the youth organizations upto Rs 1 lakh to ensure greater success and impact across more communities.