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Bengal government's financial assistance scheme to cost an additional Rs 5,000 crore

The officials had estimated 1.60 crore women to enroll themselves for the Lakshmir Bhandar scheme, assuring Rs 500 per month to general caste women and Rs 1,000 to SC/ST beneficiaries.

Published: 22nd August 2021 09:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2021 09:10 AM   |  A+A-

Women thronging a Duare Sarkar camp in Nadia district on the fourth day of enrollment for financial assistance. (Photo | PTI)

Women thronging a Duare Sarkar camp in Nadia district on the fourth day of enrollment for financial assistance. (Photo | PTI)

KOLKATA:  With the number of homemakers rushing to the Duare Sarkar (government at your door-step) camps to avail of the financial benefits announced by CM Mamata Banerjee exceeding their projections, officials said the outlay has to be revised upwards at a time when state’s revenue streams have nearly dried up.

The officials had estimated 1.60 crore women to enroll themselves for the Lakshmir Bhandar scheme, assuring Rs 500 per month to general caste women and Rs 1,000 to SC/ST beneficiaries.

The first four days of the camp have already seen 41 lakh women register since August 16. Officials estimate more than 2 crore women to enroll by mid-September deadline of the first phase.

The earlier estimate of the scheme was pegged at Rs 11,000 crore, but considering the high numbers, the outlay has to be raised.

A state official said: “During a meeting chaired by the chief minister last week, the chief secretary suggested that the spending be raised to Rs 16,000 crore.” While the scheme was launched eying the women electorate, officials are wary of the strain on the coffers.

Economic slump combined with the effects of the lockdowns has dried up revenue streams, and official said, adding: “Till July, the state’s monthly revenue was Rs 2,500 crore, which is half of what it earns during normal times. Allocations to other departments would have to be reduced to meet the demands of the scheme.”



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