scheme: Official Shillong, Jan 13 (PTI) A large number of women in Meghalaya have received Rs 5000 as seed money under the WomenÂ’s economic empowerment through financial inclusion scheme, a senior official of Community and Rural Development department (CnRD) said today.
The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma earlier this month targeting to benefit about four lakh women-headed families.
Following the launch, thousands of eligible beneficiaries were given the Rs 5000 cheque countersigned by the Block Development Officers, the senior CnRD official told PTI.
Meanwhile, National People's Party (NPP) spokesperson James K Sangma lauded the scheme which aims to empower women but he questioned its timing and the finance part of the scheme.
"Why did the government waste five years to take the programme out? I have also learnt that the government is under severe financial crisis but it is at the same time distributing freebies in the form of money," James told PTI.
State BJP president Shibun Lyngdoh also expressed similar views.
"You are aware they (government) have not done anything in the period they ruled the state for 15 years. ...
Our voters are smart and you cannot fool them all the time," he said.
Four months ago, Independent legislator Saleng A Sangma had petitioned the Governor about the scheme alleging it was more of a burden than an empowerment for women folks.
"What is happening is that MGNREGS wages deposited in the bank accounts of the women folks are being deducted to repay the loans which they have never taken," Saleng alleged.
Defending his decision to roll out the scheme which aimed at financially empowering women, the chief minister has said, "The mandate for the government is for five years.
Constitutionally and legally, the government is bound to work and every hour and every minute counts." Denying that it is a political gimmick, he said the state government has also undertaken large-scale social mobilisation to make potential beneficiaries aware of the schemes for a very long time and BDOs are working on who should be the beneficiaries. PTI JOP RG .
This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.