Mamata rejigs Cabinet; Amit Mitra retained as advisor


After the recent demise of state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee and the withdrawal of Finance Minister Amit Mitra, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday reshuffled the Cabinet, keeping the finance portfolio to herself and giving additional charge of the panchayat department to Pulak Roy along with public health engineering.

Mitra, who had earlier informed his inability to continue as the Finance Minister, has been made advisor to the Chief Minister with the status of full-fledged minister.

Last Monday, the six-month tenure of Mitra as Finance Minister came to end after he decided not to contest in the elections. The department that is now under the direct control of the Chief Minister will get an additional Minister of State in Chandrima Bhattacharya, who will assist in handling the financial responsibilities.

In a notification issued by the state government, it has been said that Mitra, an accomplished economist and former Cabinet minister, will be the principal chief advisor to the Chief Minister and the finance department in the rank of Cabinet Minister of State, with responsibilities of advising and aiding the Chief Minister and the finance department on all matters relating to the management of state finance.

In addition to this, Mitra will represent the state government in national and international events and meetings and committees as per the desire of the state government. Mitra will also examine important proposals and files and policy issues relating to all financial matters, which are referred to him for advice and views.

Speaking to the media after the Cabinet meeting in the Assembly on Tuesday, state Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “After the demise of Subrata Mukherjee, Pulak Roy has been appointed as the new Panchayat and Rural Development Minister.”

Roy is presently in-charge of the Public Health Engineering department.

The consumer affairs department, which was under Sadhan Pande who is currently hospitalised due to a prolonged illness, has been handed over to Water Resource Development Minister Manas Bhuyian as an additional charge.

Women and Child Development Minister Sashi Panja has also been given the additional charge of self-help group department, while Becharam Manna has been given additional charge as Minister of State for Panchayat.