GUWAHATI, Oct 2 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today launched the Swahid Kushal Konwar Sarbajanin Briddha Pension Achoni at a public function here.
The scheme, which seeks to universalise the pension system in the State, has been designed by the government from its own resources with an annual financial involvement of Rs 400 crore.
�Showing respect to the senior citizens of the society is our custom and tradition. Therefore, the State government has in its own way decided to lend dignity to the lives of all the senior citizens of the State and endeavoured to provide financial assistance to them irrespective of their financial and societal affiliations,� Sonowal said, speaking on the occasion.
He said all senior citizens above 60 years of age would be entitled to get the benefit of the scheme through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to their bank accounts. �By giving due respect to the elders, the foundation of an inclusive Indian society would be strengthened,� he added.
The Chief Minister said that Mahatma Gandhi�s principle of non-violence has become an ideal for the people across the globe. �In recognition of Gandhiji�s non-violent principle, the United Nations has decided to commemorate International Non-violence Day. It is indeed an honour for the people of the country. After two consecutive World Wars, people across the globe realised that Gandhiji�s principle of non-violence is the best medium to avert bloodshed,� he said.
The Chief Minister said that for realising Mahatma Gandhi's dream of �Ram Rajya�, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has initiated several pragmatic steps. �To pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, Modi led the country in launching Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to present a clean India by Bapuji�s 150th birth anniversary in 2019,� Sonowal said.
He also paid respect to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his birth anniversary.
Speaking on the occasion, Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma termed the day as a memorable one in the history of Assam. �Ever since the BJP-led government has come to power in the State, a special initiative has been launched to change the socioeconomic condition of the people. Contrary to previous State government�s populist policy of distributing thread and blanket, the present State government has endeavoured to distribute free textbooks to students, enabling free admission to them in colleges, Chief Minister�s free diagnostic scheme, Atal Amrit Abhiyan, Ayushman Bharat scheme, Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Achoni, etc., spearheading a development mantra for all sections of people in the State,� he said.
Sarma added that in every constituency 15,000-20,000 people would benefit from the pension scheme as the payment will be made on the first day of the month to the beneficiaries� accounts from the State treasury.
He also said that from January 1, 2019, the State government will provide two new schemes for farmers. �Under the scheme, if a farmer takes a loan of Rs 2 lakh, the interests of the loan would be paid by the State government and if a farmer takes a loan to the tune of Rs 3 lakh and upon successful payment of 75 per cent instalments, the State government would waive the remaining 25 per cent loan amount of the farmer,� he said.