Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal launched ‘Chah Bagichar Dhan Puraskar Mela 2017-18’ by distributing cheques to beneficiaries at a function held at Sarbananda Singha auditorium in Tinsukia on Tuesday.
Under the newly launched scheme, steps have been taken to extend the fruits of demonetization to the people belonging to tea community who have already opened their bank accounts during the period of demonetization by crediting an amount of Rs. 2,500 in each of their accounts. Further, another Rs. 2,500 would be credited to the accounts which are uninterruptedly operated for six months from now in the next phase. It may be noted that during demonetization period, altogether 6,58,250 tea garden workers opened their bank accounts and the state government would incur an expenditure of Rs. 182 crore for giving financial incentives to all the account holders belonging to the community and similar amount would be released after six months.
Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Sonowal termed the day as ‘historic’ for the state. “The tea garden community constitute an important segment of the demography of Assam and they have been contributing selflessly to the promotion of state’s economy. Our government is working to bring them under the ambit of govt’s broad spectrum of financial inclusion”.
Underscoring the contribution of the tea community in strengthening the socio-economic fabric of the state, Sonowal acknowledged the problems faced by the community since ages. “It has been one of the commitments of our government to solve all the problems faced by the people belonging to tea community. If they lack behind, the overall development of the state would suffer. Our government would take all possible steps for ameliorating their condition and ensuring their development”, he assured.
Stating that the people belonging to tea community possess extraordinary talent, the chief minister said that the state government is working resolutely for providing more exposure to them for their development. He further informed that the government would set up skill development centres in all the tea gardens of the state in a bid to improve the skills of the youths of the community and providing them better job opportunities. Moreover, for educational improvements of the students of the community, Sonowal announced setting up of ME and High Schools in the tea garden areas.
Minister of Finance, Health and Education Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma in his speech thanked the people of the tea community for responding to the govt’s request for opening the record number of bank accounts during the demonetization period. He also mentioned that all the account holders would now be entitled to all facilities of the government like PM Suraksha Bima Yojana and the like in order to bring them into govt’s agenda priorities.
Further as an extension to state government’s gesture of helping the people of the tea community, a scheme is on the pipeline wherein a pregnant woman belonging to the tea community would be given Rs. 12,000 to look after her nutritional needs and support the family before three months of her delivery without even going to work, Dr Sarma mentioned.