Welfare scheme benefits in Rajasthan hit Bhamashah wall
In 2014, the Vasundhara Raje government launched the Bhamashah Yojana and Bhamashah card to empower women from below poverty line (BPL) families through direct benefit transfer schemjaipur Updated: Dec 03, 2017 20:33 IST
In 2014, the Vasundhara Raje government launched the Bhamashah Yojana and Bhamashah card to empower women from below poverty line (BPL) families through direct benefit transfer scheme. However, the scheme meant to empower is now the biggest hurdle for thousands in availing welfare benefits.
The Bhamashah is a family card issued to the woman, considering her to be the head of the family. The card is now depriving beneficiaries of getting benefits of schemes like the Prime Minister Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAYG), Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana etc.
In Barmer district alone, thousands have been deprived of availing benefits under the PMAG and Rajshri schemes.
There are two reasons. First, when the schemes were launched the Bhamashah card was not mandatory to avail the benefits. In June 2017, the state government made the card mandatory and the result is that those without the card are now excluded. Second, the Bhamashah Yojana has an upper credit limit restriction of Rs 50,000, hence authorities are unable to release the second installment, under PMAYG scheme, which more than Rs 50, 000.
Recently, the Rajasthan government also made the Bhamashah card mandatory for claiming birth, death and marriage certificates.
In 2016, the Raje government had launched the Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana to encourage girl child education and arrest female foeticide.
Under the scheme, a new mother of a girl child gets Rs 2,500 and on completion of one year and if all vaccinations are done, the second installment of Rs 2,500 is released.
In Barmer, however, mere 12.55% beneficiaries have been able to get the second installment. The hurdle is the Bhamashah card.
At the time of launching the scheme, the government had not made the Bhamashah card mandatory for claiming the benefits.
Between June 2016 and October 2016, around 9,206 beneficiaries received the first installment. From June 2017, the government made the card mandatory. Hence, those who had claimed the first installment, but didn’t have the card, couldn’t claim the second installment.
Official data revealed that in absence of the Bhamashah card, the health department in Barmer could not release the second installment to 8,050 registered beneficiaries. Only 1,156 (12.55 %) could get the second installment.
Confirming the report, Dr Kamlesh Choudhary, CMHO, Barmer, said that according to the government’s directive they are not able to release the second installment to 8,050 beneficiaries in the absence of Bhamashah card.
“We are requesting people to enroll for the Bhamashah card so that they can avail the benefits,” Choudhary said.
Balidevi, a resident of Sohada village in Barmer, is an eligible beneficiary of the Rajshri Yojana. She got the first installment on September 19, 2016, when she gave birth to a girl child. Her second installment could not be released as she did not have the Bhamashah card.
Dr Jogesh Choudhary, in charge at Gida primary health centre, said that as Balidevi doesent have the Bhamashah card they could not release the second installment. “There are a number of cases in the district similar to Balidevi’s,” said Choudhary.
A similar situation is with PMAYG - a scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015 to help economically weaker sections get affordable houses with proper sanitation and power supply.
As the upper credit limit of the Bhamashah account is Rs 50,000, authorities are not able to release the second installment of Rs 60,000. In Barmer, thousands of PMAYG beneficiaries have not got the second installment.
Kalaki, a resident of Baniyawas village under Patodi Tehsil in Barmer, got the first installment of Rs 30,000 on March 17, 2017. Now, the authorities have not been able to release the second installment (under PMAY) worth ₹60,000 into her account as it was opened under Bhamashah Yojana.
A few months back beneficiaries of PMAYG, who have bank accounts under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, were facing a similar problem. After the issue was highlighted, the central government decreased the amount of the second installment from earlier 60,000 to 48,000 for the current financial year. They also allowed the beneficiaries of previous years to convert their ‘Jan Dhan’ account into the general account.
But beneficiaries of PMAYG, who have accounts under Bhamashah Yojana, are still deprived of the second installment as the state government has not given any relaxation. The government has also said that the Bhamashah Yojana account cannot be converted into a general account.
ML Nehra, chief executive officer at Barmer Zila Parishad, confirming the report said that they are unable to release the second installment to PMAYG beneficiaries, who have bank accounts under Bhamashah Yojana. “We are suggesting that the beneficiaries get details of another account so that we can release the second installment,” he said.