Mamata's appeal to the Centre comes amid Opposition's criticism of the government for not doing enough to mitigate the hardships of migrant labourers who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdown.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sought Rs 10,000 each in aid for migrants from the Centre to help people tackle the economic hardships in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In a tweet on Wednesday, Mamata said that the Centre should transfer the amount as one-time assistance to the migrants, including those in the unorganised sector, and make use of a portion of the PM-CARES fund for the purpose.
“People have been facing economic hardship of unimaginable proportions because of the ongoing pandemic. I appeal to Central Govt to transfer Rs 10,000 each as one-time assistance to migrant labourers including people in unorganized sector. A portion of PM-CARES could be used for this,” Mamata Banerjee said.
Mamata’s appeal to the Centre comes amid Opposition’s criticism of the government for not doing enough to mitigate the hardships of migrant labourers who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdown. Left without jobs and money to feed their families, lakhs of migrants have returned to states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha, increasing the burden on the state governments.
The challenge for West Bengal is even more critical as the state was battered by Cyclone Amphan last month, leaving beg=hind a trail of destruction and a mammoth task of restoration at the hands of the Trinamool Congress government.
On Tuesday, Mamata said that the cyclone had caused unprecedented devastation — from the destruction of dwelling houses and physical infrastructure to disruption of fisheries and agriculture. “However, through the resilience of Bengal and its people, along with a determined effort by GoWB machinery, we have been able to kickstart major relief and rehabilitation work for the distressed, with an immediate announcement of a Rs 6250 Cr package as first tranche.”
Mamata further informed that the West Bengal government has transferred funds to nearly 5 lakh affected people for repairing their homes, released crop damage assistance to 23.3 lakh farmers, apart from 2 lakh betel farmers. “We’ve released Rs 1444 Cr so far, against an initial estimate of Rs 1350 Cr,” she added.
The state is also hit by the coronavirus crisis, reporting over 6,000 cases so far. As per the Ministry of Health, a total of 335 people have lost their lives to COVID-19 while 2,410 people in the state have either recovered from the disease or been discharged from hospitals.