THE BMC has decided to opt for direct cash transfers to women self-help groups and differently-abled women, instead of distributing items among them.
Every year, under the women and child welfare scheme, the municipality’s planning department selects needy residents, including women self-help groups and women with over 40 per cent disability, providing them aid to set up a livelihood.
The BMC has a budget of Rs 11 crore for the scheme, which focuses on upliftment of economically weaker sections. An official said, “For women self-help groups, we used to offer sanitary pad manufacturing machines, machines for food making businesses and sewing machines among others. Now, we will transfer or deposit that amount in their accounts. In each of the 227 corporator wards, one women self-help group will be selected as beneficiary under the scheme.”
The official added, “Xerox machines used to be distributed to women with disabilities. Now, we will provide funds for them to buy these machines. Earlier, the BMC would buy these machines and distribute them among the needy. The state government has initiated direct cash transfer process in many schemes and a direction was issued to urban local bodies to follow the same. We are, therefore, introducing the same system in our scheme. We have already decided the rates of these items.”
Officials said the BMC will pay 95 per cent of the cost of the items. For example, a sanitary pad manufacturing machine costs Rs 2.83 lakh, of which the BMC will fund 95 per cent to the beneficiaries. Similarly, one sewing machine is pegged at Rs 35,830.
The BMC will give grants for four items each in 227 wards. The expenditure is pegged at Rs 7.92 crore on three items — sanitary pad, food making and sewing machines. In addition, Rs 2.99 crore will be deposited for 332 xerox machines for differently-abled women, said an official.