Aiming to integrate all Assamese welfare programs to population control measures, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma unveiled a plan on Thursday to empower 4 million members of self-help groups (SHGs) to become micro-entrepreneurs in rural areas and support them in becoming ‘lakhpati baidos,’ or elder sisters.

At a news conference held here, the chief minister said that the ‘Mukhya Mantri Mahila Udyamita Abhiyan’ scheme will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 4,000 crore and offered to those SHG members who are prepared to pursue a personal business plan along with their group activities.

Assam Chief Minister Introduces Program Empowering 4 Million Women as Micro-Entrepreneurs

Additionally, Sarma stated that Assam is adhering to a plan to restrain the state’s population growth.

“All our welfare schemes will be linked to population control measures for the benefit of our mothers and sisters” , he stated.

Speaking about the entrepreneurial program, he added that every qualified woman would receive Rs 35,000 spread out over three years to help her realise her dream of being a “lakhpati baidos.”

Each beneficiary will receive a total of Rs 25,000 over the next two years, comprising Rs 12,500 from the government and an equivalent amount as a loan from a bank, both of which they must repay. Sarma clarified that the government support is non-refundable.

They will receive an extra Rs 10,000 the next year.

According to him, in order to receive the award, the recipients must present a business plan that has been created and approved by the government.

Nonetheless, the program’s beneficiaries must meet a number of socioeconomic requirements.

According to Sarma, these requirements include the following: women in the general and OBC categories may not have more than three children, while women in the scheduled castes and tribes may not have more than four children.

If a SHG member has a girl child or children, they should be enrolled in school if they are old enough, and if they are younger, they must give an assurance for the same, the member stated.

According to him, another requirement for program eligibility is that the tree recipients planted as part of the Amrit Brikshya Andolan must still be alive.

On a designated date for each district, the application forms will be freely available at the closest panchayat office; photocopies will not be accepted.

He declared, “We are proud to present the new programme that will assist 40 lakh women, and it will realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of building two crore ‘Lakhpati didis’.”

Regarding the state’s ration card saturation, the chief minister announced that starting on January 16, fresh cards will be distributed to 10,73,479 households, totaling 42,85,745 people.

According to him, the ministers will give the beneficiaries ration cards in each constituency.

Out of the 25.2 million ration beneficiaries, 23.2 million have already received the cards, and the chief minister said that the process of giving the remaining recipients their cards will shortly begin.