West Bengal: Government Schemes and Projects
West Bengal is located in the eastern part of India. It is bounded on its north by Bhutan and the state of Sikkim, on its east by Bangladesh, on its northeast by the state of Assam, on its south by the Bay of Bengal, on its southwest by the state of Odisha, on its northwest by Nepal, and on its west by the state of Bihar. It is 4th most populas and 6th largest in terms of state GDP among Indian states. The growth rate was 13.35% in 2014–2015. Government pf the state has launched various schemes and [rojects for socio-economic development of the state.
- Social Security Yojana:-
The scheme would subsume five old beneficiary schemes running in the state for self employed and people working in the unorganized sector.. The five earlier schemes which have been subsumed to form the new scheme are-
- State Assistance Scheme for Provident Fund for Unorganized Sector
- West Bengal Unorganized Sector Workers’ Health Security Scheme
- Social Security scheme for Construction Workers
- West Bengal Transport Workers Social Security Scheme
- West Bengal Bidi Workers Welfare Scheme
At present about 85 Lakh people are being benefited jointly by all the 5 schemes. Under the new Social Security Yojana, about 5 crore people would be benefited while about 1 Crore would get direct benefit of the scheme.
2. PM UjjwalaYojana:-
This scheme was launched in august 2016 in West Bengal to target 1.06 Crore BPL households in the state. Three oil marketing companies – IOC, HPCL and BPCL would invest around Rs 540 crore in adding to the bottling capacity to meet the additional demand post PMUjjwalaYojana launch in the state.
- KanyashreePrakalpa scheme:-
Department of Women Development and Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal (DWD&SW) has launched the KanyashreePrakalpaYojana( in 2013) – a conditional cash transfer scheme with the aim of improving the status and well being of the girl child in West Bengal by incentivizing schooling of all teenage girls and delaying their marriages until the age of 18. The scheme has two components:
- Annual Scholarship of Rs. 500/-(Rupees Five hundred only)
- One time Grant of Rs. 25,000/-(Rupees Twenty-five thousand only)
The Annual Scholarship is for unmarried girls aged 13-18 years enrolled in classes VIII-XII in government recognized regular or equivalent open school or equivalent vocational/technical training course.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has received the highest prize in United Nations Public Service Awardin 2016 for the state government’s KanyashreePrakalpa (Girl Child) scheme in The Hague, Netherlands.
- SABOOJ SATHI:-
Government of West Bengal has declared a scheme titled “SaboojSathi” for distribution of bi-cycles to about 40 lakh students of class IX to XII in all Govt. run/ Govt. aided/ Govt. sponsored schools anMadrashas in financial year (2015-16). Objective of scheme is to empowerthe students, specially the girls and reduce drop outs in higher education.
- Utkarsh Bangla Scheme:-
This scheme launched in 2016 for school dropouts in the state. The scheme aims of providing vocational training to school dropouts by providing training; ranging from 400 to 1200 hours free of charges. Under the scheme, beneficiaries will be trained in driving, repairing television, tailoring and other electronic equipment’s, beautician courses etc.
6. Cashless Treatment for State Govt Employees and Pensioners:-
The government employees and pensioners covered by the West Bengal Health Scheme, 2008 are now getting the facility of medical treatment in Government hospitals, in hospitals managed by local bodies like municipalities, in State aided hospitals and in selected Speciality Hospitals outside the State. The employees and pensioners can also get the facility of medical treatment in empanelled Private Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Institutions, Clinics, Laboratories, Diagnostic Centres within the State of West Bengal and National Capital Region (NCR) at Delhi. Cashless medical treatment up to Rupees one lakh will be provided to the beneficiaries for undergoing treatment in private empanelled hospitals within the state including NCR.
- GatiDharaSchem for the unemployed youth of state. Launched by Ministry of Labor and Employment, Government West Bengal. Under the Scheme, the eligible applicants will be provided a loan of Rs. 10,00,000 for purchasing vehicle along with ‘subsidy’ of 30% or Rs. 1,00,000 over that loan. Means applicant need to repay only Rs. 9,00,000 and subsidy. The loanwill be given to unemployed persons aged between 20 and 45 .The scheme motives, increase the employment through transport service.
- Gitanjali Scheme(earlier Amar Thukana scheme):-
The scheme was launched with an objective to provide proper shelters to the economically weaker section of society as well as to create additional employment opportunities for construction workers etc. The cost of such dwelling units for new construction on beneficiary’s land in rural areas varies across the span and terrain of the state as follows owing to different soil and climatic conditions:
(a) Rs. 1.67 lakh for beneficiaries in general residing in Rural areas of plains;
(b) Rs. 1.23 lakh for fishermen residing in non-coastal areas to be implemented by Fisheries Department;
(c) Rs. 1.94 lakh for beneficiaries residing in the forest fringe areas of Sunderbans (to be implemented by Forest Department), and, for beneficiaries residing in other non-forest Coastal areas to be implemented by Sundarban Affairs Department and Fisheries Department;
(d) Rs. 2.51 lakh for beneficiaries residing within the forest fringe areas and forest villages in hill areas of Darjeeling district (Rs. 3 lakh within the forest villages of Jalpaiguri district ) to be implemented by Forest Department.
- Fair Price Shops:
The Government rolled out fair price seed shops, fair price vegetable shops in 2014 and prices of the food grains were kept under close watch. The Government is also launching Fair Price Diagnostic Centres.
- Boost for Culture:
Kolkata is often called the “Cultural Capital of India”. Two important developments that took place in the year 2014 is the inauguration of the NazrulTirtha and Mothers Wax Museum.
- Awards Galore:
In 2014, West Bengal was adjudged as the Best State in All India Skill Competition 2013. Kolkata received the safest city award by India Today group in 2014. The e-Abgari project of the Excise Department, West Bengal has bagged the Platinum Award conferred by the Skoch Foundation. During the Republic Day parade at New Delhi in 2014, the state’s tableaux won the first prize.
- Programme For Tribal People:-
Government in 2016 constituted 2 task force one for development of Advasis in Tarai- Dooars and other for development of Gorkhas in Darjeeling hills.
- Micro Business Credit Card :-
The state government launched this scheme in 2015 in association with SBI to boost MSME sector in the state.First of this kind scheme in India will also help farmers to set up businesses of upto 5 lakhs capital cost. Loan will be provided free of collateral.
Some of the major initiatives taken by the government to promote West Bengal as an investment destination are:
- In the budget 2016-17, Government of West Bengal proposed to increase the funds allocated to Public Works (Roads) Department, from US$ 246.28 million in 2015-16 to US$ 399.95 million in 2015-16.
- The state government of West Bengal has proposed an investment of US$ 8.2 billion for the budget 2015-16. It has allocated US$ 99.67 million for constructing Asia Highway 2, which will connect Nepal Border (Kakarbhita) to Bangladesh Border (Banglabandha). Tri national road link project of state government.
- The state government has set up an integrated leather complex on the eastern fringe of Kolkata.
- The State’s Textile Policy 2013-18 aims to increase the sector’s contribution to at least 10.0 per cent of the state GDP by 2022-23 from 6.1 per cent in 2014-15. This would provide employment to at least 10 million people.
- Under the Smart City Program, the state government has announced plan to build 7 smart cities in West Bengal. The 4 cities of New Town Kolkata, Durgapur, Bidhannagarand Haldia, have already been selected under the central government’s flagship Smart Cities project.
- The West Bengal government is planning to generate 180 megawatt of solar power during 2016-2018. So far only seven megawatt of solar power is produced in West Bengal, which is very poor, compared to states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. has identified 1,300 government buildings, schools and hospitals for setting up solar panels. In 2016-17, the target is to generate 61 megawatt of power, whereas in 2017-18, the target is 120 megawatt.
- West Bengal power project 2017:- To promote sectors of Power Electronics and Drives, Power Systems, Renewable Energy sources, etc.