West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday demanded that the central government hike the dearness allowance of state government employees whenever they extend such benefits to their own staff.
“The central govenement hikes the DA of its employees from time to time. But the state government does not have money. So it cannot effect a similar hike for its employees. So, whenever the central government increases the DA of its employees, it must announce a similar benefit for the state government employees also,” she said.
Banerjee alleged that despite the increase in revenue collection during her tenure, the state has suffered with the centre taking away a large part of the revenue for repayment of the debt incurred by the preceding Left Front government.
The chief minister, who was addressing the first convention of the West Bengal State Government Employees’ Federation at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, announced a Rs.100 crore corpus for fund for providing housing loans to the employees.
“Earlier the state government employees used to get housing loans. But it was discontinued in 2006 by the then Left Front regime. We are reintroducing it,” she said. She named the scheme “Akangkha” (desire).
The chief minister also promised speedy approvals of the loans from the government side.
A health scheme for the state government employees which had expired in March 2013 was extended till 2015 by Banerjee.
“This scheme has been strengthened. Some of the renowned private hospitals, which were not part of the scheme earlier, have now been brought within its purview. Some more diseases have been included also.”
Attacking the Left Front government, the chief minister said lot of corrupt practices took place during its 34-year-long rule. “When we came to power, we found lot of files had gone missing.”
The chief minister sought the cooperation of the government employees in ensuring the fruits of the state-run schemes reached the people. “You are the assets of the government. Unless you co-operate, we cannot provide services to people”.