Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday relaunched a scheme offering financial assistance for the marriage of women from poor families. The scheme, which was discontinued in the past two years ago, was reintroduced with a few changes.
The government has now increased the aid for marriage from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000. The income criterion for beneficiaries has also been increased from Rs 19,884 to Rs 46,080 per annum in rural areas and from Rs 25,500 to Rs 56,460 in urban areas.
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Earlier called ‘Shaadi-Bimari Yojana’, the scheme, which was in operation for the past decade, was discontinued along with some other schemes in the budget of 2014-15 to make way for new projects and welfare schemes. In this financial year, the government decided to rename the scheme as ‘Putriyon Ki Shadi Hetu Anudan Yojana’, saying that government hospitals were already providing treatment for the poor, thus taking care of the ‘Bimari’ component of the earlier scheme.
Applications for the new scheme are being received through the online portal of the social welfare department.
“The process of verification is lengthy. Applications are sent to the block development officer in rural areas and the subdivisional magistrate in urban areas for verification. Then we send the information to the Government of India Public Finance Management System for verification of accounts as the amount directly reaches the beneficiaries’ account,” said a senior officer.
The state government aims to accept 2 lakh applications this financial year, for which Rs 400 crore has been allocated. Since the scheme includes SC, ST, OBC, minority welfare as well as general category beneficiaries, various targets have been set for each community. The target is to reach about 60,500 SC beneficiaries, 650 ST, 77,000 OBC, 41,225 from the minority community and 20,625 from the general category.
At his official residence on Monday, Akhilesh presented certificates to 10 beneficiaries. Calling it the “launch” of the scheme, he also presented shawls for the bride and her father and a blanket, bed sheet and pillow cover for the groom.
Speaking during the event, Akhilesh said the SP would come to power in the state again. “Kaam ke mamle mein koi muqabla nahi payenge,” he said, adding that neither the BSP had done such work during its regime nor would the BJP be able to do it.