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Two new welfare schemes for sports persons and artistes of Manipur were launched on the completion of three years of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led coalition government in the State on Sunday.

The two new schemes are known as Chief Ministergi Akhannaba Sanaroisingi Tengbang (Chief Minister’s special assistance for sports persons, CMAST) and Chief Ministergi Artiste Singgi Tengbang (Chief Minister’s assistance for Artiste, CMAT).

Chief minister N Biren Singh made the announcement while celebrating the third anniversary of the BJP led government in the state at chief minister’s official bunglow in Imphal on Sunday.

Deputy chief minister Y Joykumar, ministers Th Biswajit (works) L Jayentakumar (health), K Shyam (revenue), Letpao Haokip (sports), N Kayisii (tribal affairs), Nemcha Kipgen (social welfare),Th Radheshyam (education), chairman of hill areas committee T T Haokip, MLAs, chief secretary, DGP, top civil and police officials were present during the celebration.

Speaking on the occasion chief minister Biren said the CMAST and CMAT would provide benefits to the thousands of sports persons and artistes of the State who have brought laurels to the State and the country.

Informing that CMAST would also support the sports persons for purchasing of costly sports items like cycle, bow, rifle, pistol etc, he said the enhanced cash awards to be given to Olympians who bagged gold, silver, bronze and participants to Olympics are Rs one crore, Rs 75 lakhs, Rs 50 lakhs and Rs 10 lakhs respectively.

Under the scheme, the government would provide incentive of up to Rs twp lakhs per annum to around 250 local clubs of the State.

The scheme would also include lifetime pension scheme for unemployed sportspersons and coaches of 50 years and above who have represented Manipur/India either in national or international tournaments.

On the other hand, CMAT was designed to encourage the artistes in every field such as performing arts, literary arts & visual arts and their associated institutions recognizing the contribution of artistes of the State.

Under CMAT, pension will also be extended to around 1000 artistes who are 60 years and above.

Pensioners include awardees, gurus and non-awardees who have contributed in preserving the tradition, culture and art forms of Manipur.

Financial assistance would also be provided for artistes, groups and institutions for participating in international and national festivals.

Interestingly, all unemployed sports persons and coaches who have participated or won medals in national and international sports tournaments besides the artistes recognized by competent authority in the State will be covered under chief minister’s health scheme popularly known as CMHT with all benefits, he added.

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