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Government reviewing social welfare schemes

After dolling out over crores of rupees to nearly 3.4 lakh beneficiaries under various social welfare schemes, the BJP-led government, the architect of these schemes, has now gone for a review to oversee whether the benefits rolled out under these ambitious schemes have reached to the deserving.Interestingly, the review comes at a time, when Manohar Parrikar, for the first time, has given least importance to the social schemes which otherwise was considered as key bat of the saffron party.Goa has around 3.50 lakh beneficiaries which are covered under the various social welfare schemes Dayanand Social Security Scheme (DSSS), Laadli Laxmi and Griha Aadhar.However, of late, the new sanctions under the Griha Aadhar, which provides monthly financial support of Rs 1500 for married women, has been kept on hold, pending review of the scheme. Till date the government has spent around Rs 273.6 cr on its 1.52 lakh beneficiaries since its inception in 2012.
The state exchequer is burdened by Rs 22.80 cr monthly under the scheme.When contacted, Director of Women and Child Development, Ruhi Redkr said that Griha Aadhar scheme has been kept on old until the review is complete.
“Griha Aadhar scheme has not been stopped, the state government had put a cap of up to 1.52 lakh beneficiaries, but has received applications beyond the decided limit and that is the reason the government has decided to review the existing sanctioned cases,” she said.“However the department is accepting new applications for Griha Aadhar but sanction will only be done after the review is complete while existing beneficiaries will continue to get the benefit,” she informed.The scheme was launched in 2012 to protect housewives from the middle, lower-middle and poor sections of society from the rising inflation wherein married women would get monthly payment of Rs 1,000 each month but was later hiked to Rs 1,200 and recently during the Parsekar government to Rs 1,500.
Yet another ambitious scheme of the BJP government Laadli Laxmi – is one which provides support of Rs one lakh to the girl child on attending the age of 18 years, for educational and marriage purpose.An amount of Rs 508 cr has been disbursed to total 50,879 sanctioned beneficiaries. The scheme was also launched by Manohar Parrikar during his earlier tenure in 2012.The department confirmed that the scheme has not been discontinued and that the money under the scheme was not disbursed on time because of the election code of conduct. “Money has now been deposited into the beneficiary bank accounts,” Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had said earlier.It was revealed that with implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission most of the familes’ income has crossed Rs 3 lakh, forcing government to go for internal review. Those who have crossed the financial limit shall be removed from the scheme with new people being listed.The review will also ensure fake cases, if any, and also wherein the family is still making use of the benefit even after the beneficiaries are deceased.The oldest and the first of its kind financial assistance scheme Dayanand Social Security scheme (DSSS) for the senior citizens, was launched in 2001 by Parrikar during his first term as Chief Minister. The most populist scheme has completed 17 years on October 2, this year.As on date, there are 1.96 lakh people availing benefit under the scheme, which provides Rs 2000 to senior citizens, additional Rs 500 (2500) for medical treatment and Rs 3500 to those suffering 90 per cent disability.With Department of Social Welfare failing to maintain the bifurcation of the beneficiaries under various financial heads, the actual expenditure on the scheme cannot be calculated.If one calculates the average income of Rs 2000 to these 1.96 lakh beneficiaries, the government spends around Rs 39.2 cr per month, on an average Rs 470 cr per annum. [H]

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