Kolkata — In spite of the mounting problems and financial stringency, West Bengal is on the right track of socio-economic growth and development, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said here on Friday.
Addressing a packed gathering at a conclave on the event “Rising Bengal”, organised by a leading national television news channel, the chief minister claimed that, though her government had inherited a massive debt amounting to Rs 1,78,000 crore from the previous, Left regime of 34 years, she had been able to continue all the development and growth-related programmes while simultaneously contributing huge sums of money every month to the central coffers as payment towards the interest due.
Highlighting the success of her government since it came to power a few years ago, the chief minister said the rate of the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had been at least 2% higher than that of the Union government for the past 2 years.
Citing examples, she said while it was calculated at 10.3% for the State in 2015-16, during the same period it was 8% at the national level. Though an almost similar rate of growth of GDP was seen in West Bengal during the next year (2016-17), it was further reduced to 7.8% at the national level, she said in front of an attentive crowd, comprising mostly the captains of industries, most of her Cabinet colleagues, a number of opposition leaders and eminent citizens from all walks of life.
Stating that agriculture and industry grew satisfactorily and side by side during her reign, Banerjee also cited government data to prove that the per capita income in West Bengal had increased manifold during the past few years, particularly after she took over the reins following a landslide victory of the Trinamool Congress in 2011. Earlier, the per capita income in the State used to hover around Rs 60,000 per annum, which had now gone well over Rs 100,000 per annum, she informed the gathering.
Coming back to her plans for ‘all-round development’ of the State, the chief minister stated that her government was not only for the people and of the people but it was also aimed at people from all walks of life, and development and economic growth for them at every stage of life.
In this connection, she also cited the example of her highly successful Kanyashree programme that, she claimed, was “far better” than the Modi government’s ‘Beti Banchao, Beti Parhao’ initiative across the nation. “We are fully committed to implementing the Kayashree programme in a more aggressive manner,” she said.