December 11, 2021 3:24:40 pm
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) Saturday announced its Griha Laxmi scheme in Goa under which every woman head of a household will get Rs 5,000 as a cash transfer every month irrespective of their income. “This is going to be universal coverage which means you don’t have to belong to any particular caste or community, you don’t have to belong to a particular economically deprived section or a BPL (below poverty line) category. Everybody gets the scheme,” TMC MP and Goa state incharge Mahua Moitra said.
Inaugurating the Griha Laxmi card at the International Centre in Dona Paula, Moitra said, “We will be taking this door-to-door in Goa.”
She said this was “pioneering” and a “transformative” scheme that had seen great success in West Bengal. “This is something that will be executed as and when we come into power depending on the good will of the people of Goa,” Moitra said, explaining how registration for the scheme would be carried out. The female head of the household will be as defined in the ration card, she said.
In poll-bound Goa, the TMC’s announcement comes a day after AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi addressed a women’s convention in South Goa and said increased recruitment for women in the police force, credit of upto Rs 1 lakh for self help groups and 30 percent government jobs for women.
According to the Chief Election Officer records of Goa, of its 11.47 lakh electors, 5.87 lakh are women.
On December 5, AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced in Goa that it was his party’s “guarantee” that if AAP formed the next government in Goa, it will give Rs 1,000 per month to all women above the age of 18 years. He said the “world’s biggest women empowerment programme” would not be limited to one woman per household but every adult woman in the family would be eligible to avail the benefit.
Kejriwal said “no government in any part of the world” had implemented such a scheme.
While the BJP-run state government runs a Griha Aadhar scheme providing Rs 1,500 crore aimed at supporting homemakers, Moitra said the Griha Laxmi Scheme, unlike Griha Aadhar, would have no income cut-off and its would reach 3.5 lakh households unlike Griha Aadhar that reaches 1.5 lakh household. It will cost the government Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore that would be about 6-8 percent of the state’s budget, the TMC announced.
Explaining why the scheme was aimed at women, Moitra said, “If a woman gets Rs 5,000 in her hand, she will buy clothes for her children, she will buy some necessary medicines, she will buy a lot of things that she could probably not have asked her husband for. That money goes into the system and goes around much quicker than that of a one-salaried household in India. That money hits the economy faster, it gets churned around faster and the multiplier effect is greater.”
Moitra said the scheme was designed based on various studies. “The latest study has been by Abhijeet Banerjee, who is a Nobel Laureate hailing from the state of West Bengal, who has stated that after the demonetisation and after Covid, both of which have shrunk the economy and people have less disposable income in their hands, the best way to kick-start the economy and kick-start the local communities is to give them more cash in their hand. This is not the time when governments should look at inflationary pressures. This is when governments should actually look at liquidity and pumping money.”
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