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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Kolkata, October 11, 2012
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s new trump card to woo the minorities is to give them a ‘taxi loan’ at a time when fuel price has skyrocketed. At a function organised by the Minority Affairs & Madrasah Education Department and West Bengal Minority Development & Finance Corporation-(WBMDFC), Banerjee handed over the key to one person and offer letters to nine other beneficiaries of the new scheme started by the WBMDFC - taxi loan.

“Beneficiaries would get a loan of Rs. 4,52,000 each. The nine who had been given offer letters will be given a key to their vehicles on completing all the paper work.

There would have been more beneficiaries, had the high court order against BSIII vehicles not been there. Since there is no pressure for the next six months we intend to give 100 more taxis to applicants by March 31 2013,” Abu Ayesh Mondal, chairman, WBMDFC said.

Members of other minority groups — Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists — along with their religious leaders were also present at the gathering. Banerjee also gave out education loans to students and highlighted her government’s work in respect to the minorities of the state.

“Whatever we had promised to do in five years, we have done in one year. The next four years we will plan and do newer things,” Mamata Banerjee said, flanked by her usual aides and cabinet ministers such as Firhad Hakim, Sultan Ahmed, Rachpal Singh, Mukul Roy, Malay Ghatak and Madan Mitra.

She said that the proposed Aliya University, spread over 20 acres of land, had been planned in such a fashion that it would be the number one university in the world.