Cong offers sops to debt-ridden Bengal | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cong offers sops to debt-ridden Bengal

To keep the Trinamool Congress - the biggest Congress' ally - in good humour, the UPA government on Thursday offered a development package for West Bengal's Maoist-affected Jangalmahal area. Saubhadra Chatterji reports. Jairam’s package

delhi Updated: Oct 21, 2011 02:57 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji

To keep the Trinamool Congress - the biggest Congress' ally - in good humour, the UPA government on Thursday offered a development package for West Bengal's Maoist-affected Jangalmahal area.

The package comes amid frictions between Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress and the Union finance ministry over a bailout for the debt-ridden state.

Hours before chief minister Banerjee was slated to land here on Thursday to attend the National Development Council meeting, Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh sent a letter to her, offering a bonanza for rural roads, National Social Assistance Programme, Indira Awas Yojna, drinking water supply, MGNREGA, etc. for the 23 blocks of Jangalmahal area.

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Ramesh assured that two more districts - Bankura and Purulia - would be included in the Centre's Integrated Action Plan (IAP), which entails special Central assistance of R30 crore per annum for each district. Currently, only West Midinapur is covered under IAP.

Addressing the chief minister as "dear Mamatadidi" Ramesh also wrote, "A number of proposals have to be submitted by the state government. I can assure you once they are submitted, my ministry will move quickly to have them sanctioned."

He, however, reminded Mamata that the Planning Commission will take a final view on inclusion of additional districts under IAP.