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Bengal CM pre-poll sops: Here's what Mamata Banerjee announced to woo voters

Mamata Banerjee announced that tablets would be distributed to higher secondary students in schools and madrasas, that will benefit 9.5 lakh students.

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Bengal CM pre-poll sops: Here's what Mamata Banerjee announced to woo voters
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With West Bengal going to polls next year, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced a slew of sops to woo voters of the state. 

Mamata Banerjee announced that tablets would be distributed to higher secondary students in schools and madrasas, adding that the move will benefit 9.5 lakh students.

Though she did not specify the timeline by which tablets will be distributed, she said the government will try to give these tablets as early as possible after floating tenders.

'In these Covid times, many students have failed to attend online classes because they cannot buy computers. They also do not have mobile either. So, we have decided to give tablets to all students in higher secondary and madrasas. Total 9.5 lakh students will benefit under this scheme. We have almost 14,000 higher secondary schools and 636 madrasas,' said Banerjee during a meeting with West Bengal State Government Employees' Federation in state secretariat.

Besides she also announced a three per cent hike in dearance allowance (DA) for state government employees from next month.

'Despite financial constraints, we have met the recommendations of all previous pay commissions. We will also provide a 3 per cent hike in DA from January 2021,' she said. 

'Over Rs 85,000 crore dues are yet to be cleared by the Centre but that will not prevent us from giving our people their dues,' Mamata Banerjee added.

And this is not all. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slashed the maximum price of RT-PCR test for Covid-19 to Rs 950 from Rs 1,250. 

The RT-PCR tests are more-reliable but expensive tests for detecting COVID-19. Earlier in October, the price of the test kit was slashed from Rs 2,250.

The state has of late been recording 3,000-3,5000 Covid positive cases daily. The decision assumes significance as the state heads to Assembly elections in April-May next year.

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