Assam to make ‘Arunudoi’ the state’s biggest DBT scheme

GUWAHATI: The Assam government has decided to transform Arunudoi, a scheme for the economically disadvantaged families, announced earlier in the state budget for 2020-21, into the state’s biggest direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme covering 17 lakh families to start with, for the next five years.

Addressing mediapersons here on Wednesday, state finance minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma said that under the scheme, a monthly amount of Rs 830 would be transferred to the bank account of a nominated female member of a family from October 2, 2020.

“We are strengthening this scheme with a plan to make it the biggest and most unique public welfare schemes of not just the state but the country. As a matter of fact, we plan to subsume many schemes and directly transfer its benefits through a single welfare scheme till the economic status of the beneficiary family improves,” Sarma said.

Elaborating further, the finance minister said that the scheme would be incremental in nature, having two components – a fixed benefit of Rs 830 per month, while under a variable component, varying amounts would be transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries on occasions such as Puja, Bihu et al, based on the financial position of the state government.

The finance department would have a monthly outflow of Rs 210 crore to implement the scheme.

“The selection of beneficiaries will begin from August 17, 2020. District-level beneficiary selection committees would be constituted and Arunudoi assistants would be appointed to ensure that the data of beneficiaries and their bank accounts are maintained properly. The deputy commissioners would have to ensure that the scheme implementation is foolproof,” Sarma said.

The beneficiaries will receive the money in their bank accounts on the first day of month.

“We believe that during these trying times of a pandemic like COVID-19, the scheme will partially help economically disadvantaged families to fulfill certain basic needs,” the minister said.

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