Union Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla, who launched the scheme in Kolkata, not only expressed her surprise but also regretted Banerjee's absence at the programme - a part of the nationwide unveiling of the scheme on financial inclusion
"I am surprised. She should have been present here. It's saddening to see that there is no representation from the state government. The whole state stands to benefit from the scheme," Heptulla told media persons here.
Banerjee along with a host of Trinamool ministers Thursday participated in a rally to mark the foundation of the party's students' wing.
Announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Aug 15, the national mission on financial inclusion or the PMJDY aims to cover 7.5 crore people by January 2015.
"This is a step towards bringing the entire nation into the economic mainstream and will be carried out in mission mode in two phases," said Heptulla adding that that it would be easier to disburse money for various government schemes which would reach the beneficiaries' account directly.
While the first phase runs till Aug 14, 2015, the second phase will continue till August 2018.
Speaking on the occasion, United Bank of India executive director Deepak Narang said more than eight lakh bank accounts have already been opened in West Bengal under PMJDY.