Amid a tussle in the Samajwadi Party, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav appeared to have stepped up preparations for 2017 assembly elections by announcing to implement the ‘Samajwadi Kisan Evam Sarvhit Bima Yojana’ across Uttar Pradesh.
He made the announcement at a programme organised at his official residence in Lucknow on Wednesday. He said the state government will soon formally launch the scheme that will benefit farmers in the 18-70 years age group having a family income of less than Rs 75,000 a year.
Film actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has been appointed the brand ambassador to popularise the scheme. It proposes to provide economic and social security to the farmers and weaker sections in the state.
Siddiqui said he was from a family of farmers and the new scheme will provide security to them.
Yadav said the scheme was the state government’s unique initiative and would have broader coverage vis-à-vis the ‘krishak durghatna bima yojana’ (farmers’ accident insurance scheme). It also provides for medical facilities to the families of those killed in an accident and financial assistance to the victims who become physically disabled.
Chief secretary Rahul Bhatnagar said the scheme will provide coverage to about 3 crore families of farmers. He said the chief minister’s banking and insurance helpline with toll free number 1520 would be available to find any solution under the scheme.
Meanwhile, the chief minister has also decided to expand the Samajwadi Pension Scheme. He has asked senior officers of the state government to identify the poor families in urban and rural areas who had been deprived of the benefits of the scheme.