Mayawati launches scheme to woo upper caste poor

November 1st, 2010 - 6:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Nov 1 (IANS) In a bid to woo upper caste poor, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Monday announced a scheme to provide Rs.300 per month to every poor person not benefiting from any other poverty alleviation scheme.

The scheme titled “Uttar Pradesh Mukhya Mantri Mahamaya Gareeb Aarthik Madad Yojana” (UP chief minister’s financial assistance scheme for the poor), would help those who are not covered under any other welfare or social security scheme, the state government said.

Launching the scheme at her residence, Mayawati said: “The new scheme envisages to provide a subsistence assistance of Rs.300 per month to crores of poor people who, for various reasons, could not get the benefits under other poverty alleviation schemes.”

“To begin with, we have taken up as many as 31 lakh beneficiaries; the remaining would be covered during the next phase in 2011,” she said.

A symbolic launch of the scheme was made through handing over of certificates to 10 beneficiaries by the chief minister.

The list of beneficiaries was finalised after a state-wide survey of 2.56 crore people, of which 31 lakh were eventually found to be eligible for the scheme.

The survey followed a similar exercise carried out in 2002 to identify those living below the poverty line.

While an annual income of Rs.19,884 was fixed as the upper limit for identifying eligible families in the rural areas, in case of urban areas the income level was raised to Rs.25,548.

“Despite schemes like old-age pension, widow pension, pension for the handicapped and other social security schemes for the poor, a number of poor were still left behind. We worked out this new scheme for their benefit,” the chief minister said.

Admitting that more than 50 percent of the beneficiaries under this scheme belonged to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, she said: “The scheme is unique as it covers the poor belonging to upper caste and other religions as well.”

The scheme essentially intends to pick up women as beneficiaries but men too could avail of the benefit if the family has no woman.

The monthly financial assistance of Rs.300 would be provided to the beneficiaries in a lump sum every six months.

“District magistrates have been asked to ensure that each of the beneficiaries gets a savings bank account opened in a nationalised bank, where the six-monthly payments would be deposited in advance,” Mayawati said.

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