Budget: Does Mamatanomics say money hangs from trees?

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Kolkata, March 12: Manmohanomics may not acknowledge that money hangs from the tree, but Mamatanomics surely does. Or else, why her government, which is in charge of an economically crippled state, will go on doling out allowances?

After declaring stipends for imams, lawyers, artistes and even local clubs, the Mamata Banerjee government of West Bengal has decided to grant allowances to unemployed youths in its latest budget announced on Monday.

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Any unemployed person, aged between 18 and 45 and class VIII pass-out, would be eligible for a monthly allowance of Rs 1,500 if his/her name if registered in the state employment bank. The government would choose one lakh people out of the one crore registered unemployed people in the state to give the monthly amount, state finance minister Amit Mitra said.

According to one report published in Anandabazaar Patrika, the project would drain out Rs 180 crore from the state coffers annually. Moreover, it was clarified that the number of people eligible for the allowance would never come down from one lakh for even if one set of people get a job, they would be replaced by fresh candidates. And in this way, the circle will continue for ever.

The report also said that the finance minister did not specify the criterion to categorise the one lakh eligible unemployed.

The endless populism of the Banerjee government has raised quite a few eyebrows. The government is busy buying sports equipment for clubs and organising one fest after another but there is no blue-print to secure the economic future of the state.

The government is yet to draw an industrial or land policy after almost two years in office and no big industry has come to the eastern side of Bihar even in the post-Parivartan days. A senior leader of the ruling party recently resigned from the position of advisor after a difference of opinion with the CM over the question if industrialisation.

Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra mocked the CM, saying she whimsically decides new avenues to dole out money and the onus falls on the finance minister to earn revenues. Economists also raised similar concern.

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