Following the implementation of various schemes, including the Laadli Laxmi and the Griha Aadhar schemes among others, announced earlier by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in the state,
Goa has been witnessing a shortage of Rs 20 stamp paper.
As swearing of an affidavit is mandatory to avail the benefit under a scheme, people, mostly women, have been rushing to the stamp paper vendors in various parts of the state for buying the stamp paper only to be informed that the papers are not available.
People (especially young girls and housewives for whom the schemes have been tailor-made) can be seen moving from one vendor to another hoping to find the stamp papers that would help them gain money to the tune of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1,000 per month respectively.
Some women told The Navhind Times that taking advantage of the “huge” demand for stamp papers, some stamp paper vendors have been selling the stamp papers at a premium while others are selling stamp papers of higher denomination so as to earn more commission. The affidavit can be sworn on a stamp paper of Rs 20 or more, informed an official.
Mr Sunil Masurkar, the director of the Women and Child Development Department, through which the Laadli Laxmi and Griha Aadhar schemes are being implemented, said that there is a big response for the schemes and that the department has been receiving large number of applications from women.
Some stamp vendors said that there is a big demand for the stamp papers of Rs 20 and that the stocks received by them get exhausted in a couple of days. They said that while some people enquire about the next availability of stamp papers, some others prefer to buy stamp paper of higher denomination as they do not want to make frequent visits.
A few typists said that there was black-marketing of the stamp papers and that they were informed about the same by the people who visit them to avail their services for typing the contents of the affidavits. They also said that quite a few women have been visiting them carrying stamp papers worth Rs 50.
The director of Social Welfare Department, Mr Vijay Paranjape was not available for comments despite efforts being made to get his reaction as to how the department proposed to help the people seeking to avail over two dozen schemes for the welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, the differently-abled persons, senior citizens, destitutes, prisoners and their dependents and beggars.
A person who claimed that he had come to the office to sort out issues relating to the benefit that he was likely to get under financial assistance to non-government organisations working for the disabled said that it was almost impossible to meet the Social Welfare Department director, even as he said that only those sent by the minister concerned were entertained by the director. [NT]