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Gogoi’s gender budget: 10k for BPL girls to get married

india Updated: Mar 15, 2010 18:52 IST

Next fiscal, BPL girls in Assam will have an incentive to get married – Rs 10,000 each from the government.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday presented Rs 3,464 crore deficit budget for the 2010-11 fiscal. With Assembly elections due early next year, it was loaded with sops for the poor and the young besides women.

Keen on tabling a ‘gender budget’, Gogoi unveiled a slew of incentives for women. These included reservation of up to 20 per cent of government supplies and contracts not exceeding Rs 10 lakh, and 2 per cent exemption of registration fee to women registering land (value not exceeding Rs 2 lakh) in their name.

The sops also included assistance of Rs 10,000 each to 50,000 single unemployed women and marriage assistance of Rs 10,000 each to BPL girls. “Rs 60 crore has been provided for these schemes,” the chief minister said.

If that were not enough, the government has also provided cash assistance of Rs 5,000 each to 100,000 self-help groups women run in Assam.

For the “poorer sections of the society”, Gogoi announced supply of rice at Rs 6 per kg to 13 lakh BPL families, yarn and blanket to 25 lakh BPL persons, two free CFL lamps each to 10 lakh BPL families and two bundles of CI sheets to 1,000 BPL families in each of Assam’s 126 assembly constituencies. His budget also promised medicated mosquito nets to 20 lakh BPL families.

Apart from announcing Rs 400 crore for 16,130 venture schools and colleges, Gogoi promised Rs 40 crore for 1,333 madarsas keeping in mind the growing Muslim population in Assam. Sanskrit tols did not miss out too, though they have been provided only Rs 5 lakh.

“This is a populist, impractical and people-unfriendly budget,” said Asom Gana Parishad president Chandra Mohan Patowary.

“Absolutely not,” countered Gogoi. “It is reasonable and growth oriented.”