Mamata slams Centre for LPG price hike, banks’ interest rate cut

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Chopra (West Bengal) Aug 1 (IANS) Taking a swipe at the Centre for the hike in the price of subsidised cooking gas, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the situation in the country under the BJP-led regime was becoming hostile for the commoners and the poor.

“A lot of people are sad since yesterday (Monday) as the subsidy on LPG is being withdrawn and its price hiked. The situation is slowly becoming hostile for the poor. The supply of ration products like sugar and kerosene is being stopped,” Banerjee said at a public meeting here in North Dinajpur district.

Stating that the money for subsidy on LPG came from common citizens and not from the pocket of anyone specifically, Banerjee claimed that the government should focus on addressing the social obligations with its own income.

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“A government should focus on addressing the social obligations first. It should spend a part of its income in meeting the social obligations. The LPG subsidy given to people was not coming from the pocket of some specific person. It is the money of common people,” she said.

Banerjee said the poorer sections were the worst sufferers with kerosene supply being stopped, and claimed that withdrawing subsidy on the cooking gas would massively impact the commoners as they already had to bear a huge burden of education and medical treatment expenses.

The Trinamool Congress supremo also slammed the Centre for reducing interest rates on deposits in the banks and said this would in a way benefit the chit fund companies in the country that provide higher rates of interest on savings.

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“The interest rates in the banks are being reduced. This would in a way benefit the chit funds. I want to ask the Centre is it necessary for you to assist the chit funds?” Banerjee said.

Terming the central government’s “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” scheme as a pulicity stunt, Banerjee said the Kanyashree scheme started by her government was much more beneficial for the development of girls.

“I do not pretend to help our girls in the name of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. That is just publicity. In our Kanyashree project, we have already spent Rs 5,000 crore for the betterment of girls,” Banerjee claimed.

She also said that the benefits of this scheme had been extended to colleges and universities, encouraging girls to pursue higher education.

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