West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that wealthy borrowers were not repaying their bank loans, while farmers and self help groups were being deprived of them.
Banerjee, who was interacting with officials in Jhargram district, said banks should extend cooperation to poor farmers, SHG members and small entrepreneurs to make them self-reliant and boost development.
The Trinamool Congress chief said she had again written to the Centre against the controversial Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill., described the legislation as "anti-people".
"Those who have Kisan Credit Cards and are entitled to loans are being denied loans. And yet some VIP bank customers are looting this country," Banerjee later said in a tweet.
"The self help groups (SHGs), those who run small businesses, and other commoners, are deprived of loans. And yet special people are being given thousands of crores of rupees. Why this fraud ? Why this fraud?" she added.
She has demanded a thorough and time-bound investigation into the fraud in state-owned Punjab National Bank. She has said that a scam of over Rs 11,000 crore had taken place and the people's savings are not safe.
Referring to the FRDI Bill, the chief minister said: "They (Centre) have to withdraw the draconian bill."
Stating that she would always be with the people, she said: "I have no personal agenda. I have always struggled for the rights of the people. As long as I am alive, I will work for them."
The chief minister slammed the Centre for depriving the state of its share of funds for various projects and demanded that the money be immediately released to keep these projects afloat in people's interest.
"The Centre has stopped funds for ICDS and ASHA projects. Despite our financial constraints, we are running these projects with our own funds," she said.
She recounted her association with movements in tribal Jangalmahal area of the state for its development, and said: "There was a time when my Adivasi brothers and sisters survived on insect eggs. There was a reign of violence in Jangalmahal. Tourists did not come to this region."
Stating that some parties were trying to incite violence and disturb law and order in this region, Banerjee asked people not to pay heed to their provocations.
She said the development in Jangalmahal will continue and officials and local leaders must extend their cooperation to fulfil the aspirations of its people and make them self-reliant.
"We started giving rice at Rs 2 per kilogramme to tribals in Jangalmahal. My best wishes to the people of Jangalmahal for restoring peace in the region," she said adding that Jhargram, which falls in the area, had been made a new district to fulfil a long-standing demand of the people.
She asked officials to promote the region as a tourist hub and introduce necessary bus routes linking it with Kolkata and Midnapore.
Banerjee also said that her government has written to the Centre to enlist the Kurmi community in the scheduled tribe list.
"Bills are also being brought to give recognition to Kuruk and Kurmali languages. A dictionary in Ol Chiki script would also come up soon," she said.
She also announced that the new scheme 'Ruposhree' to help in the marriage of girls from poor families would be launched from the next month and that those who received prizes during Jangalmahal Sports Festival would be recruited as civic volunteers.