West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday, announced a “cremation/burial allowance” scheme for people in the below poverty line (BPL) category in the state.
Claiming this to be the first of its kind anywhere in India, the chief minister announced that in case of any demise in BPL-category families in the state, the state government will give an allowance of Rs 2,000 to the family so that they can perform the last rites.
“There are many families in the state who are unable to perform the last rites of the deceased due to lack of funds. My government, which has a human face, will provide such families with an allowance of Rs 2,000 so that the last rites of the deceased can be performed,” said the chief minister at the inaugural session of the two- day conference of the state panchayat and rural development department here on Friday.
She also advised the MPLAD funds can be utilized for making provisions for this cremation/burial allowance.
At the same time, keeping in mind the elections for the three- tier panchayat system in the state scheduled for next year, Mamata announced a special allowance of Rs 1,500 for the members and functionaries in the different tiers of the system.
“They work at the grassroots level and they deserve certain returns for their service, which the previous Left Front government ignored for 34 years,” she said.
However, at the same time, Mamata admitted that due to lack of marketing, West Bengal was not projected in the right perspective nationally as well as internationally.
“The state government employees will all have to come forward and all the state government departments should work in a coordinated manner to project the state in right perspective without putting any extra pressure on the state’s exchequer,” the chief minister said.
At the same time, she issued a note of caution for the state government employees to be dedicated to their work. “I will not have any mercy on those who neglect public duty,” she said.