Mamata dismisses rumours about "Lakshmir Bhandar" Scheme

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday dismissed rumours that tax arrears need to be cleared to avail benefits of t...


Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday dismissed rumours that tax arrears need to be cleared to avail benefits of the Lakshmir Bhandar" (Lakshmi's treasure) scheme and said a complainant can dial her office for grievance redressal.

The chief minister's comment came in the wake of allegations of kick-backs being demanded by various people and of reports that fake forms were being sold to the gullible.

Addressing a press meet at the state secretariat, the chief minister said, to enrol for the scheme, beneficiaries have to just fill up a single sheet form at Duare Sarkar (government at your doorsteps) camps to be held for one month from August 16.

Around 1.6 crore people are expected to gain from the West Bengal government scheme, which was a Trinamool Congress' election promise, aimed at providing financial assistance to women heads of families in the age group of 25-60 years.

Under the initiative, the state government will provide Rs 1,000 per month to women heads of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families, and Rs 500 to those belonging to the general category.

Asking people not to be swayed by any misinformation, Banerjee said "the form for Lakshmir Bhandar' will be free of cost and will be only available from Duare Sarkar' camps.

There will be a unique ID given on the form which will be linked with AADHAAR. Only that form will be accepted." If someone collects the form from outside, printed by any agency, that would not be accepted, the chief minister said.

Banerjee said a rumour was being spread in parts of North 24 Parganas district that one has to clear taxes to avail of the Lakshmir Bhandar' scheme.

Women not employed in government services or permanent private-sector jobs, and who do not get retirement benefits will be eligible for the scheme, she added.

"In case anyone has any complaint, she can call the toll free number at the chief minister's office. Any grievance will be dealt with on the lines of Didi ke Bolo' (tell Didi) helpline (launched two years back)," she added.

While Lakshmir Bhandar is a financial benefit scheme for women, the Duare Sarkar camp was announced last year as an outreach programme.

However, the Leader of Opposition in West Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari criticised the scheme and alleged the chief minister has gone back on her promise of providing a minimum income for all women in West Bengal on returning to power.

He said while five crore women live in West Bengal, the number of women beneficiaries of the scheme has been slashed to 1.6 crore.

Adhikari also said the yearly outgo of Rs 15,000 crore for the scheme will add to the state's debt burden.

The chief minister also said, to reach essentials to people, "Duare ration" (providing food rations at your doorsteps) programme will be launched from the day of Bhai Phonta (a festival when women pray for their brothers' long life and good health).

The Duare Sarkar camp will be held till September 15 where people will get information about 18 schemes, including Swastha Sathi , Khadya Sathi , Caste certificate, Sikshasree , and Kanyashree .

Already 17,107 camps have been shortlisted but the figure will rise as many areas are still submerged, she said.

-News Feed

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Local Glob: Mamata dismisses rumours about "Lakshmir Bhandar" Scheme
Mamata dismisses rumours about "Lakshmir Bhandar" Scheme
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