Assam CM announces scheme to help women become entrepreneurs in state - Hindustan Times
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Assam CM announces scheme to help women become entrepreneurs in state

Jan 11, 2024 04:18 PM IST

In the first phase, each applicant will be provided with a grant of ₹10,000 for the first year to start any business from a list of 145 business plans prepared by the government

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday announced the Mukhya Mantri Mahila Udyamita Asoni scheme aimed to help 3.9 million women associated with self-help groups (SHGs).

The new scheme will help to those women who want to start their entrepreneurial journey. (PTI photo)
The new scheme will help to those women who want to start their entrepreneurial journey. (PTI photo)

“We already have a scheme for women SHGs in which around 700,000 women associated with SHGs have become ‘lakhpatis’. The new scheme will help to those women who want to start their entrepreneurial journey separately from the SHGs they are associated with,” said Sarma.

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In the first phase, each applicant will be provided with a grant of 10,000 for the first year to start any business from a list of 145 business plans prepared by the government. The total amount earmarked by the scheme as part of the state annual budget is 3,900 crore, making it the biggest such scheme in the state.

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To be eligible for the grant, women from the general and other backward caste (OBC) categories (except from the Moran, Muttock and tea-tribe communities) will need to have not more than three children.

Women from Moran Muttock and tea-tribe communities will be eligible if they have four or lesser number of children.

For women from Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) categories they will not qualify for the scheme if they have more than four children.

Sarma said that the limit has been kept to ensure that those children who get the grant are able (have adequate time) to devote to the new business.

“The applicants will have to give a written undertaking that they will enroll their girl children in schools and promise not to have more than the number of children needed for eligibility,” Sarma said adding that the women will also need to show proof that the two saplings they planted last year (as part of a state government scheme) are being taken care of.

In the second year, each woman will get a bank loan of 12,500 from banks and a same amount as grant from the state government.

There will be a check to see that the amount they received in the previous year has been utilised well.

“This scheme was announced last February itself when there was no election in sight. Even if it is election oriented, how does it matter? The more important thing is that it should be beneficial to people. The scheme will remain even after the election is over,” said Himanta when questioned on the timing of the scheme launch given the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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