People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 25

June 21, 2009




Lf Govt Announces New Social Sector Schemes


Rahul Sinha


TAKING yet another bold step in line with its commitment to the working people and weaker sections of the society, and expanding the range of its works in the social sector, the Left Front government of Tripura has decided to start three new social security allowance programmes in the state. It has also increased the amount of allowances in seven of the already existing schemes.


One of the three new schemes is of providing monthly allowances for the girl children hailing from the BPL families. From the month of June itself, a maximum of two girls of every BPL family will be getting an amount of Rs 300 each per month. Further, the rickshaw workers of the age group 60�65 years and the cobblers of the same age group will be getting an allowance of Rs 300 from this month onward.


All the above decisions were taken in a meeting of the state cabinet on June 9, and are unique in the whole country.


Along with starting the three new schemes, the cabinet also decided an enhancement in the allowances under the seven already running social security schemes. These, too, have already come into effect from the first of this month.


Chief minister Manik Sarkar briefed the reporters about the decisions in the Civil Secretariat after the cabinet meeting. He said from the month of June each girl child belonging to a BPL family will come under the new allowance scheme, and girls of the age group 0-16 years will be eligible to get this allowance. A maximum of two girls from any single family will be entitled to get this allowance.


Explaining the reason why girls will be given an allowance up to the age of 16, the chief minister said this was done keeping in mind that the girls should continue to get the financial assistance till they appear for the secondary examination.


The amount will be handed over every month to the mother of the girl child. In the absence of mother in case of a girl child, however, the amount will be handed over to her father. 


It is worth mentioning here that, in Tripura, general education up to the level of graduation is absolutely free of cost for all.


The chief minister also detailed the scheme of monthly allowance for the rickshaw workers and cobblers. The cabinet has decided to give a monthly allowance of 300 rupees to everyone of these sections in the age group of 60�65 years. The idea is that they will be automatically covered by the national old age pension (NOAP) scheme after reaching the age of 65.


The chief minister also gave details about the decision to increase the amount of allowance in all the existing social security schemes. So far, each of the beneficiaries of NOAP was getting Rs 200 from the central fund while Rs 100 were the state�s share. From now on, however, the state will also be giving 200 rupees to each of the beneficiaries. In addition to it, there are several other, state funded social security schemes, like allowances for the widows, bidi workers, deserted women, the physically challenged and the visually handicapped. The state government has increased the amounts of these allowances as well by 100 rupees per month. All the beneficiaries will start getting the new, enhanced allowances from the month of June.


The chief minister also briefed the journalists about some more steps in the education sector. He said a State College of Veterinary Science will start functioning from this academic year itself and it will be as government run college. In the beginning the student strength of the college will be 20 but in due course of time it will be increased to 50.


Also, as per another decision of the government, six new degree colleges will be set up in six different subdivisions. The focus of the government, the CM said, was on extending the scope of higher education in each subdivision so that students don�t have to leave their home subdivision to pursue higher education. The new colleges will be set up in Kanchanpur, Langtarai Valley, Teliamurra, Mohanpur, Bishalgarh and Santir Bazaar. The construction works of these colleges will start in the coming August or September.


Moreover, three new polytechnic institutions will also be set up in the North, Dhalai and South Tripura districts while industrial training institutes (it is) will be set up in all the subdivisions.


In addition to all this, the government has also decided to increase the amount of stipend for the college students by a minimum of 25 per cent, though in certain cases the increase may be more than 25 per cent. The income limit for a student�s eligibility to get the stipend has been relaxed from Rs 500 per month to Rs 5000 per month in case of the lower income group (LIG) while the income bar has been done away with in case of the merit cum means stipends. This means, the chief minister said, that every student who has got the requisite minimum marks, shall be eligible for getting the stipend henceforth, irrespective if his or her family�s income.