GUWAHATI: In its benevolent gesture to provide pension to every senior citizen of the state, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched Swahid Kushal Konwar Sarbajanin Briddha Pension Achoni at a function held at Sarusajai Sports complex here on Tuesday.
The scheme is one of its kind in the country as Government of Assam has designed the scheme from its own resources with an annual financial involvement of Rs. 400 crore.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal said, “Showing respect to the senior citizens of the society is our custom and tradition”. Therefore, State government has in its own way decided to lend dignity to the lives of all the senior citizens of the state and endeavoured to provide financial assistance of the persons irrespective of their financial and societal affiliations. He also said that all the senior citizens above 60 years of age would be entitled to get the benefit of the scheme through Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) to their bank accounts.
Sonowal said that Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of non-violence has become an ideal for the people across the globe. In recognition to Gandhiji’s non-violent principle, the United Nations has decided to commemorate International Non-violence Day. It is indeed an honour for the people of the country. After two consecutive world wars, people across the globe realized that Gandhiji’s principle of non-violence ‘is the best medium to avert blood-shed’.
Chief Minister Sonowal moreover, said that for realizing Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of ‘Ram-Rajya’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi has initiated several pragmatic steps. To pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, Modiji led the country in launching Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to present a clean India to Bapuji’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019. He also remembered and paid respect to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his birth anniversary.
Speaking on the occasion, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma termed the day as a memorable day in the history of Assam. Ever since the BJP led Government has come to power in the state, a special initiative has been launched to change the socio-economic condition of the people of the state. He also said from 1 January 2019 State government will take two new schemes for farmers. Under the scheme if a farmer takes a loan of Rs. 2 lakh, the interests of the loan would be paid by State government and if a farmer takes a loan to the tune of Rs. 3 lakh and upon successful payment of 75 per cent instalments, State government would waive the remaining 25 per cent loan amount of the farmer.
Minister of State (independent charge) Panchayat and Rural Development Naba Kumar Doley, MP Bijaya Chakraborty also spoke on the occasion.
Synchronising with the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal distributes benefits of the scheme through Direct Benefit Transfer to two lakh beneficiaries. Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, Hill Areas Development Minister Sum Ronghang, MPs Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Biswajit Daimary, Pradan Baruah, Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Hrishikesh Goswami, Financial Adviser of Rural Development Department of Govt of India Sudhakar Sukla, President of Senior Citizen Welfare Council Harkrishan Bharali and a host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion, a communique said.