Bengal govt's Lakshmir Bhandar bags the SKOCH Award

Bengal govts Lakshmir Bhandar bags the SKOCH Award

Kolkata: West Bengal has bagged the prestigious SKOCH award in the women and child development category for its popular 'Lakshmir Bhandar' scheme, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Saturday.

The recognition is for both her government and for the nearly two crore women of the state who have been empowered by the scheme, Banerjee said.

Empowerment of women is on the priority list of the government, she said.

"I am proud to announce that GoWB's welfare scheme Lakshmir Bhandar has received the Skoch Award in the Women and Child Development category," Banerjee tweeted.

"Women empowerment has always been a priority for us. It's a recognition not only for the government but also the 1.8 crore empowered women of West Bengal," she added. The West Bengal government had launched the scheme in August 2021 to provide financial support to a woman head of a family and is in the age group of 25-60 years. Under the scheme Rs 500 per month is being given in respect of the general caste category and around Rs 1,000 per month for those in the SC and ST categories.

The state government incurs an expenditure of around Rs 11,000 crore annually to fund the scheme, sources in the government said.

Instituted in 2003, the SKOCH Award is given to the best of governance, inclusive growth, excellence in technology and applications, change management, corporate leadership, corporate governance, citizen services delivery, capacity building and empowerment among others.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi on Saturday took stock of the preparedness for Duare Sarkar (government at doorstep) and Paray Samadhan through a video conference with District Magistrates and other concerned officials from Nabanna. Camps related to both the programmes will begin from November 1.

People can apply for land deeds (patta) and new electricity connections or even clear outstanding electricity bills at the Duare Sarkar camps. Dwivedi discussed the SOPs related to land deeds that will be done at the outreach programme.

For the first time in Duare Sarkar, there will be facilities for Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) and registration of fishermen.

The AIF provides a medium long-term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support. Applications from farmers interested in getting facilities of AIF will be accepted in the camps.

Similarly, applications for registration of fishermen will be accepted at the camps and on scrutiny, they will be provided with a photo identity card along with registration number.

The registered fishermen will be entitled to various benefits which the state government has been taking to boost the fisheries sector.

As per instructions, 20 percent of the outreach camps will be held on mobile mode. Tribal areas and far flung and inaccessible areas will be given due importance while scheduling camps.

The Duare Sarkar programme will be held till November 30 while Paray Samadhan will start from November 1 and will continue for a fortnight. Disposal of all applications received at the camps should be completed by December 31.

As many as 25 schemes/services involving 16 nodal departments will be provided during the campaign that includes Lakshmir Bhandar, Rupashree, Khadya Sathi, Kanyashree, Student Credit Card, Swasthya Sathi, Caste certificates to name a few.

This will be the fifth edition of Duare Sarkar that began in December 2020. There will be no camps on Sundays and also on November 8 and November 15 on account of Guru Nanak's birthday and Birsa Munda's birthday respectively.

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