Narayangarh: Stressing that the Centre’s decision to reduce West Bengal’s kerosene allocation would cause “grave distress” to the poor and weaker sections, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to retain this at the earlier level.
“This decision will cause grave distress to the consumers in remote and tribal areas and adversely affect the poor, SC, ST, minorities and economically weaker sections of the society,” Banerjee said in a letter to Modi, the text of which was released to the media at her rally here.
“I would therefore request you to kindly reconsider the decision and permit allocation of kerosene oil to the state at the level, as it existed in March 2016,” she said.
The Chief Minister pointed out that her government has taken strong steps and already cancelled about 1.41 crore bogus ration cards to ensure the benefits of the Public Distribution System reached only the genuine beneficiaries.
“Survey and monitoring is an ongoing and continuous process and the state is committed to ensure that only the targeted beneficiaries obtain subsidies,” the missive said.
In such a backdrop, it would not be “appropriate to reduce allocation of kerosene oil, which is so much essential for basic needs like lighting the household and cooking by the poor people”.
She said the education of children from the poor families would also be adversely hit because of the reduction in the quota.
Sources said the Centre has slashed the monthly allocation of kerosene oil to the state by 4,000 kilo litres from 78,600 kilo litres to 74,608 kilo litres since April.
Banerjee had earlier written to Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on the same issue.