Debjit Mukherjee, Kolkata: The National Cadet Corps (NCC) in West Bengal claim that they are unable to conduct training sessions for youth enrolled due to a lack of funds. Sources in NCC claim that 25 per cent of the cost of NCC training is the State government’s responsibility, however, the West Bengal Government has not released funds for the same for the last two years. Near about Rs 10 crore is due, claim NCC sources.
Sources in NCC claim that approximately Rs 10 crore is due in conventional and non-conventional heads. Further, approx Rs 10 crore is due for the construction of the institute at Kalyani. The campus is half-constructed.
Cadets who take this training under NCC get B and C certificates. Further, cadets with high scores are directly entitled to appear in Services Selection Board (SSB) interviews, thus lack of training will impact employment opportunities for youth.
Sources in NCC claim that they are trying to work out with Bengal Govt Finance Department but till now they have not received any green signal for funds.
In the first week of October, the Commanding Officer of West Bengal NCC Major General had written a letter to DG NCC in the Defence Ministry, Govt of India stating that enrolment is ceased now due to a lack of budgetary allocation by the State Government.
NCC PRO for Bengal and Sikkim Major Dr BB Singh said “This is a serious issue, unless they appear for this camp they will not be allowed to sit for B certificate and also for C certificate. If they get good marks they directly can appear for the SSB interview. The state is not directly telling us why it (the funds for training) is not getting cleared. I think CM is not briefed properly on this. Now enrolment is now taking place.”
Amit Malviya, a BJP leader and co-in charge BJP in West Bengal said that “Mamata Banerjee is ruining institutions and destroying the careers of the young.” Taking to the micro-blogging site Twitter he wrote, “Mamata Banerjee is ruining institutions and destroying careers of the young. Now NCC cadets suffer in Bengal as WB Govt refuses to release funds. Cadets aspiring for their B and C Certificate examinations, which would have got them direct SSB interview, will miss the opportunity.”
Chandrima Bhattacharya, Finance Minister, WB said, “We have already released the first tranche of Rs 20 lakh for this purpose on October 21. We are yet to receive the utilization receipt from the NCC. We will release the next tranche as and when we get the receipt because that’s how the system works.”
She added that instead of tu tu main main (bickering) over funds their government is focused on employing the youth.
“Let the BJP not be bothered with our funds’ release since we will do that as per procedure… Let them focus on why the Centre has withheld our share of money on various schemes which are public money and is not anybody’s paternal property,” he added.