SHILLONG, July 06: With the disbursement of financial assistance under the Chief Minister’s Social Assistance Scheme now lying pending for over a year, South Shillong MLA, Sanbor Shullai has sought the Chief Minister’s intervention for the speedy release of the same.
Having met the Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma in this regard, Shullai later said, “I have submitted a memorandum of appeal to him for the immediate release of the pending financial assistance extended through the CM’s Social Assistance Programme (CMSAP) to all the beneficiaries.”
Under the CMSAP, the beneficiaries which include infirm, single mothers, widows, and persons with disabilities were entitled to receive Rs 500 each as monthly financial assistance direct in their respective bank accounts.
Of 99,552 beneficiaries, 53,573 are infirms (old age pension), 30,284 are single mothers and widows, and 11,695 are persons with disabilities.
“However, the financial assistance was not paid to them for past 15 months. The last time that the government released the fund for the purpose was on March last year,” he said adding that over Rs 4 crore a month is being spend as financial assistance under the scheme.
The BJP MLA informed that the chief minister during the meeting had also called the chief secretary and directed the need to immediately take step to ensure speedy release of the pending payment.
Asked, Shullai, who claimed to have championed in helping poor people to reap the benefit of the scheme, alleged the then state government led by the Congress for diverting the fund meant for the CMSAP to other departments.
“I have been conducted a follow up on this matter and found that the fund meant for this scheme have been diverted by the previous government to other departments which lead to non-regular payment to the beneficiaries,” he said.
He said due to this, some of the beneficiaries’ especially old people have passed away in the process of waiting for the release of this money.
On the other hand, Shullai has also urged the chief minister to consider enhancing the present financial support from Rs 500 to Rs 2000 per month.
“We will leave this to the wisdom of the CM as the government may place this proposal before the cabinet meeting for approval for the welfare and interest of all the poor BPL beneficiaries of the state,” he said.