On Monday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee practically unveiled the ' Maa ' scheme in which her government will offer a healthy meal primarily to poor people at a nominal cost of Rs 5 before the assembly elections in the state. For Rs 5, they'll get a plate of rice, dal, a potato and egg curry.
The government is going to bear a Rs 15 subsidy (per plate) while consumers are going to get it at Rs 5, 'the government will bear a subsidy of Rs 15 while people will get it at Rs 5' .
The kitchens will be run by self-help groups from 1 pm to 3 pm every day and such kitchens will eventually be set up everywhere in the state, the chief minister said.
'One day, I'm going to go and taste it,' Banerjee said. On a first-come-first-serve basis, people will get the food. This is a novel concept. We revealed this scheme in the budget and managed to introduce it within eight days,' she said, thanking officials from different departments for making it happen in such a short time.
Banerjee, who is also the Supremo of Trinamool Congress, said that the state government has provided Rs 1,00-crore for the scheme. It started on an experimental basis, and initial hiccups may occur, said Banerjee.
On the first day, Maa kitchens began functioning in a few locations in Kolkata and districts such as Malda, Howrah , Paschim Medinipur and Dakshin Dinajpur. In September last year, the ruling Trinamool Congress initiated a similar project in the state named 'Didir Rannaghar' to provide migrants with meals at Rs 5.
In April-May, the assembly election is due in the province. In the meantime, the chief minister said on the 'Duare Sarkar' (government at the doorsteps) program that ended on February 8, 'I express my appreciation to everyone for making it a great success. Launched last year on December 1, Duare Sarkar' is an initiative of the state government to provide some of its unique schemes at the doorstep of people through camps organized at grade levels. Over 1.77 crore of applications have been submitted. Almost 20,13,639 Khadya Sathi cards and 85,13,006 Sasthya Swathi cards have been issued from these camps,' she said .
Banerjee has launched a report commissioned by the British Council on behalf of the State Department of Tourism on the creative economy around the Durga Puja 2019 festival. The analysis indicates that the importance of the creative industry around the festival that year was Rs 32,377 crore, she said.