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Assam CM Unveils Scheme To Assist 40 Lakh Women To Become Micro-Entrepreneurs

The scheme, 'Mukhya Mantri Mahila Udyamita Abhiyan', will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 4,000 crore and offered to those SHG members who are willing to undertake a personal business plan along with their group activity, the chief minister said at a press conference here.

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Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma
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Asserting that all welfare programmes of Assam will be linked to population control measures, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday announced a scheme to develop 40 lakh self-help-group (SHG) members as rural micro-entrepreneurs and help them become 'lakhpati baidos (elder sister)'.

The scheme, 'Mukhya Mantri Mahila Udyamita Abhiyan', will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 4,000 crore and offered to those SHG members who are willing to undertake a personal business plan along with their group activity, the chief minister said at a press conference here.

Sarma also said Assam is following a policy to control the state's population growth.

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"All our welfare schemes will be linked to population control measures for the benefit of our mothers and sisters", he said.

Speaking on the entrepreneurship scheme, he said each eligible woman will be provided with Rs 35,000 over three years in their endeavour to become 'lakhpati baidos'.

Over the next two years, each beneficiary will get a total of Rs 25,000, including Rs 12,500 from the government and an equal amount from a bank as loans which they will have to return but the government support is non-refundable, Sarma said.

They will get an additional Rs 10,000 in the subsequent year. 

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The beneficiaries will have to submit a business plan to avail the grant which will be prepared and supported by the government, he said.

The beneficiaries of the scheme will, however, have to fulfil certain socio-economic criteria.

These criteria include that women belonging to the general and OBC categories should not have more than three children, while those in the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes should not have more than four children, Sarma said.

The SHG member, having a girl child or children, should enrol them in school, if they have attained the age and if they are younger, an undertaking must be given for the same, he said.

Another condition for eligibility to the scheme is that the trees planted under the Amrit Brikshya Andolan by beneficiaries must be surviving, he said.

The application forms will be available at the nearest panchayat office free of cost on a specified date for particular districts and no photostat will be accepted. 

''The scheme will fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of building two crore 'Lakhpati didis' and we proudly unveil the new programme which will help 40 lakh women," he said.

Speaking on the saturation of ration cards in the state, the chief minister said new ones will be given to 10,73,479 households, which will include 42,85,745 individuals, from January 16.

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In each constituency, the ministers will hand over ration cards to the beneficiaries, he said.

A total of 2.32 crore, out of the 2.52 crore ration beneficiaries, have so far received the cards and the process of providing the same to the remaining will also be initiated soon, the chief minister added.

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