Kolkata, Sep 22 (PTI) West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday hit out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for writing to the Centre that funds of Ayushman Bharat and PM-Kisan be routed through the state government, questioning whether the proposal is to help the corrupt instead of the real beneficiaries.
Addressing the press at the Raj Bhavan soon after the two letters written by the chief minister were made public, Dhankhar asked why was this demand being raised instead of direct transfer of funds to beneficiaries as in other states.
Banerjee has written separate letters to the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, saying the PM-Kisan and Ayushman Bharat schemes will be implemented in West Bengal if the funds are routed through the state government.
Stating that the 'cat is out of the bag', Dhankhar noted that the chief minister's proposal will benefit 'non- state actors' who are already in control of the corridors of power in the state.
'The heart of the scheme is a direct transfer without middlemen, without any cut, and the (state) government wants this money,' the governor said.
He also questioned why it has taken the chief minister so long to propose the implementation of the schemes in the state.
'Have we not seen what happened in Amphan relief distribution?... unimaginable corruption has happened, deserving ones have not got it, while the undeserving got it,' he alleged.
Largescale corruption in Amphan relief has been put under the carpet with no case having been registered, Dhankhar claimed.
He said that how could one, believing in transparency, accountability and in the interest of farmers ask for the routing instead of it reaching directly to the farmers.
'Each of our farmers has lost Rs 12,000 owing to non- implementation of the PM-Kisan,' he said.
The governor further said that he has written to the chief minister at least half a dozen times on the issue and even on August 15 the issue was raised by him during her visit to the Raj Bhavan.
'What is shocking and worrisome is the last part of her letter, where the chief minister says we are doing enough,' Dhankhar said.
The governor said that he was made to read in the Assembly that Rs 700 crores have been spent by the West Bengal government under its Krishak Bandhu scheme, which he said is not even 10 per cent of Rs 8,400 crores that the state's farmers could have got from the PM-Kisan scheme.
'You want to compromise the interest of the farmers by saying send the money to us. Corruption was 100 per cent plugged in PM-Kisan by direct transfer,' he said.
Dhankar also criticised the chief minister for asking the Union Health Minister for 100 per cent funding of the Ayushman Bharat scheme to implement it in West Bengal and that it be routed through the state government. PTI AMR SOM SOM