Ahead of the assembly election in Assam next year, the BJP government today launched its flagship scheme named ‘Orunodoi’ that would cost Rs 2,800 crore. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched the scheme along with Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. The scheme will benefit 20 lakh families, government sources said.
“The aim of this scheme is to not only provide financial benefits, but several objectives of public welfare are associated with this. Food security is one of the objectives of the Orunodoi scheme. Rs 830 has been provided so that the beneficiary can buy medicines of Rs 400 every month. 5 kg of lentils can be purchased at Rs 200. Rs 80 can be spent on buying sugar. The remaining Rs 150 will be spent in buying fruit,” said Mr Sarma.
The Chief Minister thanked Mr Sarma and his team for their efforts in implementing the scheme.
The budget for the scheme this year is set at Rs 2,800 crore. “This marks a shift in the approach to poverty alleviation programme in Assam, where the government does not decide how money should be spent for the poor, but where substantial cash transfer to households enables them to make informed decision to spend money on health and nutrition,” the government said in a statement.
While designing this programme, the government said it kept in mind the basic requirement of health and nutrition of a household. The entitlement would support a family to buy medicines worth Rs 400 per month, subsidy worth 50 per cent of 4 kg pulses worth Rs 200, subsidy worth Rs 80 for sugar and subsidy for essential vegetables and fruit worth Rs 150. This medical and nutritional support will have a consolidated inflow of Rs 830 per month to a family.
Another feature of this programme is to ensure timely credit of the right subsidy amount to the beneficiary directly or the nominated female head of the household. Research has shown that the financial benefits provided by governments are better used for the intended purpose if the control is in the hand of the female of a household.
The female head of the household who have missed opening bank accounts should approach the nearest banking facility or a banking correspondent to open their bank account under Jan Dhan Yojana, the government said.
The application process for the ‘Orunodoi’ Scheme started in September this year. Preference has been given to the households having widow, unmarried women and differently abled people.
Households having four-wheeler, tractor, TV and fridge will not be eligible under the scheme.