West Bengal’s vote-on-account stresses production hike


Kolkata: The West Bengal government Monday emphasised on rising production in agriculture and industry and increase in employment in both the sectors while presenting its vote-on-account in the state assembly.The government also highlighted the protection of the interest of minority communities and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the state.

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The annual financial statement for the financial year 2011-12 and Left Front government’s vote-on-account for the first four months of the fiscal was presented by Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta in view of ahead of the upcoming assembly polls in the state.

“The objective is not only to enhance production, but to enhance it in agriculture and industry and expand services in such a manner that employment and income of the common people can be increased to the maximum possible extent,” the minister said.

He added that special emphasis has been placed for the minority communities, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women in the matter of increasing employment opportunities.

He said as a result of effective steps taken on the basis of land reforms, the rate of growth of gross state domestic product from agriculture in the state, according to the latest data, has increased noticeably to reach 5.9 percent in 2009-10.

“The total land distributed in this state up to Jan 15, 2011 has been 11.324 lakh acres and the number of farmers benefited has reached 30.449 lakh,” he added.

Based on the recommendation of the expert committee (Dave Committee), the credit needed for agriculture and allied activities in West Bengal in the last year (2009-10) has been Rs.45,338 crore.

The actual disbursement of credit in agriculture and allied activities, according to the latest available data, will be an estimated amount of Rs.12,915 crore in the current year. said the minister.

The government decided that in order to protect the interest of potato growers, 9.70 lakh metric tonne of potato will be purchased through cooperatives and the West Bengal Essential Commodities Supply Corporation at a price of Rs.3.50 per kg.

“In the sphere of large and medium industries, despite several obstacles, the level of materialised industrial investment in the state has increased noticeably from Rs.8,493.43 crore in 2009 to Rs.15,052.23 crore in 2010,” Dasgupta said.

The plan expenditure for the department of technical education and training will increase from Rs.187.62 crore in the last year to an estimated Rs.200 crore in the current year, he stated.

The plan expenditure for the department of housing will be enhanced from Rs.66.83 crore to estimated Rs.170.36 crore in the current year, Dasgupta said.