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Pre-poll Welfare Schemes in WB, TN, Puducherry

Pre-poll Welfare Schemes in WB, TN, Puducherry

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NEW DELHI, Feb 26: Just minutes before the Election Commission of India announced the poll schedule for the four states and the union territory of Puducherry on Friday evening, several state governments rushed to announce welfare schemes in a bid to influence the section of the voters to benefit from the schemes.

Just as the ECI announced in the morning about holding a media conference at 4.30 P.M. with which the model code of conduct come into force restricting the party in power from taking any new policy measures, the West Bengal announced hike in rates of daily wage earners, Tamil Nadu waiver of co-operative loans and Puducherry reduction in taxes on petrol and diesel.

The West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the wages of unskilled labour will increase from Rs 144 to Rs 202 while the wages of semi-skilled labour will see a hike from Rs 172 to Rs 303. The government has also introduced a new category for skilled labour under which they will be paid Rs 404 per day.

“A total of 56,500 workers (40,500 unskilled, 8000 semi-skilled, 8000 skilled) will benefit from this. These wages are in parity with rural workers’ enhanced pay (MNREGA unskilled & semi-skilled). Budget provision for this step has been made available for both FY21 and FY22,” Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

The Office of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced a new gold loan waiver scheme. The government said the scheme aimed at alleviating the poor and women belonging to self-help groups. “They are being given a waiver of outstanding loans obtained from co-operative banks and co-operative societies.”

In Puducherry, the Lt Governor announced a two per cent reduction in Value Added Tax on petrol and diesel in the union territory.

The polling in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry besides Assam and Kerala are scheduled to be held in March-April with results to be declared on May 2.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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