February 18, 2024
West Bengal Unveils Ambitious Rs 366166 Crore Budget Ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha Elections
West Bengal Finance India

West Bengal Unveils Ambitious Rs 366166 Crore Budget Ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha Elections

West Bengal Unveils Ambitious Rs 366166 Crore Budget Ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha Elections

West Bengal Unveils Ambitious Rs 366166 Crore Budget Ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha Elections

The West Bengal government has made a significant move ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections by presenting its annual budget, amounting to a substantial Rs 3,66,166 crore. State Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya unveiled the budget, outlining key provisions and initiatives that aim to address various sectors.

Empowering Women through Enhanced Financial Assistance

A standout feature of the budget is the emphasis on women’s empowerment through increased financial assistance under the Lakshmir Bhandar scheme. Women in the general category are slated to receive a monthly aid of Rs 1,000, a notable rise from the previous amount. Furthermore, SC/ST women will receive Rs 1,200 monthly. This initiative is expected to benefit over 2.11 crore women, showcasing the government’s commitment to social security and the upliftment of marginalized sections.

Boosting Morale of Civic Forces with Enhanced Allowances

The budget allocates increased allowances for Civic Police, Green Police, and Village Police, recognizing their valuable contributions to society. The upward revision in allowances aims to boost the morale of these civic forces and acknowledge their pivotal role in maintaining law and order.

Supporting Artisan and Weaver Communities

In a move to preserve traditional industries and support artisan and weaver communities, the budget introduces new grants for artisans, handlooms, and Khadi weavers. These provisions include a death benefit scheme and working capital assistance, emphasizing the state’s commitment to sustaining its rich cultural heritage.

Salary Hikes Amidst Protests

The budget includes a 4% increase in Dearness Allowance (DA) effective from May 2024, following a previous hike of 10% starting January 2024. Salary hikes have also been extended to contractual Group D & Group C employees. However, the budget presentation faced disruption as BJP MLAs raised slogans, leading to a rebuke from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who condemned the opposition’s actions as ‘dirty politics’ and anti-Bengal. The budget, with its multifaceted initiatives, reflects the state government’s comprehensive approach to governance and inclusive development.

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