NEW DELHI: As scheduled, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and not only sought Rs 21,000 crore package for flood relief and reconstruction of devastated districts of the state, buts also a special Chief Ministers’ meeting of the Niti Ayog.
In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, she took up the problem being faced by the states with regard to the scrapping of the plan process. She urged the PM to convene a meeting of Chief Ministers to demarcate plan size for the states. She also asked for an increase of state-share from the Central pool.
Incidentally, Mamata had skipped the last meeting of the Niti Ayog.
After meeting the PM, she said, “These days group meetings are being held by Niti Ayog on different subjects. I have requested the PM to organise an exclusive Niti Ayog meeting inviting all Chief Ministers to decide the plan size. Earlier, the Planning Commission used to undertake this exercise.”
According to her, the Prime Minister was quite positive about the proposal to convene a special Niti Ayog meet to discuss the states’ plan size. On the flood crisis, she said that 12 districts of West Bengal were badly hit, with 13 lakh hectares of agricultural land affected.
“About one crore people affected, I’ve given a memorandum to Prime Minister with all details of the loss and sought Rs 21,000 cr to carry out rehabilitation and reconstruction work,” she added.
Mamata also raised the issue of increasing the storage capacity of Damodar Valley Corporation so that flood impact on West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand can be minimised.
The West Bengal CM also requested the Prime Minister to consider a programme of loan waiver, restructuring and grant of fresh loans to farmers as the floods have severely damaged their crops.