Bengal deprives people of the benefits of the central scheme despite the Covid-19 crisis: Dilip Ghosh

KOLKATA: Expressing concern at continued turmoil over ration supply and the situation of Covid-19 in, the BJP state unit on Monday wrote to the prime minister Mamata Banerjee , saying that people could have benefited from the central schemes if they had not rejected them.

In his letter to Banerjee, which was released to the press, state BJP president said the government was depriving people of the benefits of two central projects PM and Ayushman Bharat Yojana - owing to narrow political considerations.

It is worrying that people are stirring in East Midnapore, Murshidabad and North 24 Parganas because of poor grain quality and inadequate supply. More than 70 lakh farmers would receive aid from the allocation (from the Center) of Rs 4.2 billion rupees under the PM-Kisan Scheme, if the state chooses it.

At the same time, Rs 2,714 crore allocated as income support under the Krishak Bandhu scheme for the year 2020-21 should also be used, the letter said.

Ghosh urged the state government to provide financial aid of Rs 1,000 to each poor household and to arrange for the delivery of rations at home.

He demanded free Covid-19 treatment for the poor.

The state can provide free treatment to the disadvantaged without overloading their treasury by enrolling in the Ayushman Bharat Yojana Center, Ghosh said.

The BJP MP said the government should procure 100 per cent grains from the farmers and provide them an incentive over and above the minimum support price for wheat and rice.

Ghosh, during the press meeting, noted that 12 hospitals in the state have been partially or completely closed due to frontline health workers being quarantined.

From doctors to police, many have been isolated. The health system is under severe stress. What is the state doing? They're just delaying the tests. The ICMR and other agencies have expressed concern about the low test rate in the state, he said.

Bengal has reported an average of 232.25 tests per million, well behind the ratio in most other states.

Double the honorarium and salaries given to healthcare workers, including nurses and Asha personnel, for the next six months and provide them with adequate safety equipment, the state BJP president said in the letter.

Reiterating that the state government is hiding actual numbers from Covid-19's death, Ghosh said this is only making the situation worse.

The BJP MP further said that the government should take measures to ensure that Bengal workers who have migrated to other states for work get to avail free of cost healthcare.

He suggested that the government make arrangements to bring trapped people back out of state as soon as possible, and that the necessary precautions be taken to avoid contamination.

The BJP leader also demanded that the audit committee formed to certify the Covid-19 deaths be disbanded, alleging it was constituted to conceal the actual toll.

We request the Union Ministry of Health to send another central team to assess the situation. We hope that the state, in the interest of the people of Bengal, will cooperate with the team, Ghosh said.