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Assam social register with citizens’ bank accounts soon

GUWAHATI: Assam will soon have a social register having the bank account of every person of the state so that each individual can be reached out for Direct Beneficiary Transfer (DBT) schemes. The accounts will be linked to Aaadhar.

Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said, “Considerable work has been done for bringing the bank accounts under the DBT mode and we will complete the entire process in the next tenure of the government.”

“We have drawn inspiration from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this scheme. During the time of Rajiv Gandhi, he said if money was sent from Delhi, it gets stuck up in states,” he added.

He said, “Districts will only select the beneficiary and money will flow directly into the account of the beneficiary. We got a loan from the World Bank in the first year of our government and we have created a platform for this purpose.

The social registry will capture the bank accounts of 3.30 crore people of Assam (the population in 2011 census) along with Aadhaar so that there will be direct linkage between the state treasury and beneficiary.”

The state government has launched several schemes and most of them are in DBT mode.

Sarma said, “We have re-designed Swami Vivekananda Assam Youth Empowerment (SVAYEM) Yojana launched by the state government in 2017 and we are now planning to develop an entrepreneurship-oriented ecosystem. Under this scheme, self-help groups (SHGs), joint liability groups (JLGs) and farmers producer organisations (FPOs) will be provided with seed fund.”

Sarma said the government will pump in Rs 1,000 crore under this scheme in the next three months and around two lakh youths will get Rs 50,000 each. “This is Assam’s biggest ever entrepreneurship promotion scheme. We are in talks with banks to assist with loans if the groups are willing to scale up their activity,” he added.
The Assam government has decided to extend one-time subsidy of Rs 50,000 to 5,547 applicants. This amount will be provided to students who have taken loans for pursuing higher education. Around Rs 25 crore is sanctioned under this scheme.

The government has decided to deposit Rs 3,000 to the accounts of eight lakh tea garden workers. Over seven lakhs accounts were opened during the demonetisation and the government in two tranches transferred Rs 2500 in each account. Around Rs 250 crore will be spent under this scheme.

Sarma said, “There were ‘know your customer’ (KYC) related problems in some accounts. However, following the intervention of Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the problem was resolved. State Bank and lead banks are working in close coordination. ATMs are coming up in tea estates.”

The finance minister said there was a systematic planning and funds for these schemes were kept for this year. “Had there been no Covid-19 situation, we could have done more.”

Sarma said states are allowed to take loan up to 3% of GDP and Assam, last year, took around Rs 11,500 crore. “We can take a loan upto Rs 12,000 crore this year under state development loan. GST loan we may take around Rs 750 crore. The Centre has assured that it will pay back the same with interest,” he added.

Recently, the Centre has provided borrowing options to make up for the shortfall in the GST compensation cess fund.

News Source: Times of India

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