WB Cabinet clears scheme for Brahmin priests


Kolkata: The West Bengal Cabinet on Thursday gave its nod to the ‘Rajya Purohit Kalyan Prokolpo’, a scheme under which a monthly allowance of Rs 1,000 and free housing would be allotted to each of around 8,000 Sanatan Brahmin priests.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had last week announced the scheme, and said many priests were reeling under financial crisis and her government was doling out sops to support them.

“The Cabinet has given its nod to the ‘Rajya Purohit Kalyan Prokolpo’ which the chief minister had announced a few days ago,” state home secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said at the secretariat.

During Thursday’s meeting, the Cabinet also approved a plan to form a development authority for converting Birsingha – the birthplace of polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar – into an “educational tourist hub”.

“The authority will follow the West Bengal Town and Country Planning and Development Act for executing the project. The district magistrate will be the chairman (ex- officio) and MPs and MLAs and other public representatives members of the planning body,” Bandyopadhyay said.

The ministers also held discussions and weighed the pros and cons of launching a Rs 22-crore solar project at Sagardighi Thermal Power Plant, he said.

“The five-megawatt floating solar project, the largest in the country, will benefit around one lakh households, once operational,” the home secretary stated.

Several other development plans, including a riverbank township project, were taken up for discussion at the meeting.

The ministers, following the meeting, congratulated Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, who is set to retire on September 30, for his service to the state.

Sinha had taken over as the chief secretary on the same day last year, following the retirement of Malay Dey.