Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma formally launched the State government’s flagship scheme ‘Orunodoi’ on Tuesday at Numali Jalah Parade Ground in Amingaon.

Speaking on the occasion, CM Sonowal thanked finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his team for their efforts in implanting the ambitious scheme.

“The aim of this scheme is to not only provide financial benefits, but several objectives of public welfare are associated with this. Food security is one of the objectives of the Orunodoi scheme. Rs 830 has been provided so that the beneficiary can buy medicines of Rs 400 every month. Five kilograms of lentils can be purchased at Rs 200. Rs 80 can be spent on buying sugar. The remaining Rs 150 will be spent in buying the fruits,” said Sarma.

“The budgeted amount for the scheme this year is set at Rs 2,800 crore. This marks a paradigm shift in the approach to poverty alleviation program, where the government does not decide how money should be spent for the poor, but where a substantial cash transfer to poor households shall enable them to make informed decision to spend money on health and nutrition,” stated an official press release.

While designing this program government has kept in mind the basic requirement of health and nutrition of a household. The entitlement would support the family to buy medicines worth Rs 400 per month, subsidy worth 50% of the 4kg pulses work Rs 200, subsidy worth Rs 80 for sugar and subsidy for essential vegetables and fruits worth Rs 150. This medical and nutritional support will have a consolidated inflow of Rs 830 per month to a family.

One of the other salient features of this program is to ensure timely credit of the right subsidy amount transferring the benefit directly into the account of the nominated female head of the household. Research has shown that the financial benefits provided by governments are better utilized for the intended purpose if the control is in the hand of the female of a household. The female head of the household who have missed opening bank account should approach the nearest banking facility, i.e. a bank or a banking correspondent to open their bank account under Jan Dhan Yojana.

The application process for the ‘Orunodoi’ Scheme started in September this year. Preference has been given to the households having widow, unmarried women and specially-abled persons.

It needs to be mentioned that households having, four-wheeler, tractor, TV, fridge, etc. will not be eligible under the Scheme. Further, this is an ongoing scheme, eligible households which could not be included in this phase shall be considered in the subsequent years of the Scheme.

It may be noted that if anyone who is not eligible, but has enrolled for the Scheme may voluntarily contact GP office/VCDC/ULB to remove their name.