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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 23 April 2024

Schemes for 34 lakh more: 13 lakh women to be new beneficiaries of Lakshmir Bhandar, says Mamata Banerjee

The chief minister added that her government would extend benefits to the rest of the 21 lakh new beneficiaries under five different schemes, including old-age pension, widow pension and Kanyashree, despite the ongoing financial crisis

Snehamoy Chakraborty Calcutta Published 25.01.24, 06:18 AM
Mamata Banerjee hands over a cycle to a schoolgirl at the administrative review meeting in Burdwan on Wednesday.

Mamata Banerjee hands over a cycle to a schoolgirl at the administrative review meeting in Burdwan on Wednesday. Munshi Muklesur Rahaman

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday announced that her government would reach its welfare schemes to 34 lakh more beneficiaries in Bengal, including 13 lakh women under the ambit of the flagship Lakshmir Bhandar.

“We will extend benefits of Lakshmir Bhandar to 13 lakh women, who enrolled their names at Duare Sarkar camps and through the Sarasari Mukhyamantri platform. All of you (beneficiaries) will start getting your benefits from February 1. We already have two crore women receiving the benefits of the Lakshmir Bhandar programme in Bengal,” said Mamata, addressing over 30,000 people at a government benefit distribution event in Burdwan town.

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The chief minister added that her government would extend benefits to the rest of the 21 lakh new beneficiaries under five different schemes, including old-age pension, widow pension and Kanyashree, despite the ongoing financial crisis. “At a time when the central government has frozen the flow of funds to the state, we are trying to do our best for our people with limited resources,” she said.

On expanding the scale and scope of welfare schemes, a Trinamul source said Bengal’s ruling party believes that creating more beneficiaries is the best way to counter the Narendra Modi-led BJP.

Mamata launched at least a dozen welfare schemes since coming to power in 2011 for women, children and students. These cost the state coffers Rs 24,000 crore annually. Lakshmir Bhandar, under which the state government gives a monthly dole of Rs 500 to women under the general category and Rs 1,000 to those from SC and ST communities, alone costs the state government over Rs 12,000 crore a year.

“Now, with the extra 13 lakh beneficiaries, there will be an additional pressure of around Rs 104 crore per month to the state exchequer only for Lakshmir Bhandar,” said a senior official.

Mamata also urged migrant workers to return from their workplaces before the Lok Sabha polls to cast their votes in Bengal.

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