Women-oriented Punjab Budget to further empower women: Aruna Chaudhary

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CHANDIGARH: Punjab Social Security, Women and Child Development Minister Mrs. Aruna Chaudhary, on Monday, termed the Budget 2021–22, presented on the special day of International Women’s Day as a women-oriented, saying that it will further empower women of the state.

Chaudhary said that elderly women and widows would get double financial assistance to the tune of Rs.1500. “Capt. Amarinder Singh government has fulfilled its promise to provide financial assistance to the tune of Rs.1500 to all eligible beneficiaries covered under Social Security pensions. To double the monthly pension from Rs.750 to Rs.1,500, a budgetary outlay of Rs.4,000 crore has been allocated, which is an increase of 72% of 2020-21 budgetary expenditure of Rs.2,320 crore”, said the minister, adding that social security pensions amounting to Rs.2,089 crore were disbursed in 2019-20 and Rs.2,277 crore in 2020-21, which is three-fold of what was provided by the previous SAD-BJP government in the year of 2016-17 i.e. Rs.747 crore. A total of 25.55 lakh beneficiaries, including 13 lakh beneficiaries belonging to Scheduled Caste have been provided pension during the year 2020-21, she added.

The Cabinet Minister said that now onwards, our daughters would get 51,000 under Aashirwad Scheme on their marriage instead of earlier Rs.21,000 and Rs.250 crore has been allocated for this scheme. She said that during the previous financial year, the state government has provided financial assistance of Rs.120 crore to 57,142 SC beneficiaries and Rs.45 crore to 21,428 BC/EWS beneficiaries.

She said that free transport facility to students and women worth Rs.170 crore would ease their day-to-day life.

The Cabinet Minister said that an allocation of Rs.878 crore has been earmarked for “Integrated Child Development Scheme” for providing supplementary nutrition to almost 12 lakh children and pregnant women & lactating mothers of the state, besides allocating Rs.53 crore under POSHAN Abhiyan Scheme to improve the nutritional status of newborn babies, children up to 0-6 years, adolescent girls, pregnant women & lactating mothers and reduce malnourishment. An allocation of Rs.5 crore to launch a new scheme “Mata Tripta Mahila Yojana” and to cover the existing schemes run by various departments of the State.

Chaudhary further added that ensuring the security of the women, the state government will set up Seven Hostel for working women in major districts of Punjab and Rs.50 crore has been allocated for the purpose. Apart from this, an allocation of Rs.24 crore has been earmarked for setting up of Old Age Homes. She said that laboratory for Cyber Crime Prevention against Women & Children (CCPWC) would be set up at a cost of Rs.2.54 crore during 2021-22.

She said that the revolutionary steps of such as implementing 33 per cent reservation to women in appointments to all categories of post of Government and Boards & Corporations and the Punjab Civil Services (Reservation of Posts for Women) Rules and 50% reservation in the elections of PRIs and ULBs, are first-of-its-kind in the country.

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