TMC promises ₹5,000 per family per month if voted to power in Goa
The Trinamool Congress in Goa has promised ₹5,000 per family per month under a ‘Griha Laxmi Scheme’ to help tide over inflation and meet household expenses, TMC MP Mahua Moitra announced.
The scheme, she said, would be universal and given to all the estimated 3.5 lakh households in Goa amounting to ₹60,000 per year.
“The monthly benefit of ₹5,000 will be made available through direct benefit cash transfer. 3.51 lakh households will be covered under the scheme. This is going to be universal coverage -- you don’t have to belong to any backward caste or community, you don’t have to belong to any economically deprived section. It is going to be for everyone,” she announced.
“The ‘Griha Laxmi’ initiative is a pioneering and transformative scheme for the people of Goa. The scheme has already been implemented in West Bengal,” she added.
Explaining the rationale behind the announcement, Moitra said that the need of the hour was to ensure that there was money in people’s hands especially after the twin disasters of demonetization and the Covid-19 lockdown which ensured that people had no money to spend.
“Economists like Abhijit Banerjee have said that the best thing to kickstart the economy and the local economy is to give them more cash in their hands. If a woman gets Rs. 5000 in her hand, she can buy clothes for the children, medicine. That money goes into the economy faster. The multiplier effect is faster. This is not the time when governments should look at inflationary pressure. This is the time they should look at liquidity and pump in money,” Moitra said.
“The budgetary allocation for this is going to be between ₹1500 to 2,000 crore which is 6-8% of Goa’s budget,” she added.
Goa already has a scheme that was begun by former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in 2012 called the Griha Aadhar scheme which gives a family ₹1500 per month but is offered only to the economically weaker section of Goan society that is -- the gross income of the husband and wife, taken together should not exceed ₹3-lakh per annum to be eligible for the scheme.
Earlier, the Aam Aadmi Party in Goa had promised to hike the existing monthly amount by ₹1,000 from ₹1500 to ₹2,500.
The BJP has termed the announcement by the TMC as an election gimmick aimed only at garnering votes.
“The original idea belongs to Manohar Parrikar who had brought about the Griha Aadhar Scheme which was basically to empower women and make them independent and that scheme has come a long way. These are nothing but ways to buy votes and not really empower women. This is an election gimmick,” BJP spokesperson Narendra Sawaikar said.
“Both AAP and TMC [are] in a competition of who will give more free money as a promise to women. Both know they won’t win a single seat so they can promise whatever they want,” Congress Social Media coordinator Hasiba Amin, said.