Women heads of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families will receive Rs 1000 a month and those in general category Rs 500 a month from 1 September under the recently announced “Lakshmir Bhandar (Lakshmi’s treasure)” scheme.

This was approved by the state Cabinet today.

All women heads aged between 25 to 60 years, except those who have permanent jobs in private or government firms, will be eligible to get enrolled under the Lakshmir Bhandar scheme. Even casual workers would be eligible for the scheme.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had promised the scheme before the Assembly elections, said Duare Sarkar camps would be held across the state to accept the applications for the “Lakshmir Bhandar” scheme from 16 August to 15 September and people can drop in their applications for the scheme at those camps.

“Even if someone gets her “Lakshmir Bhandar” card on 20 October, she will receive her assistance from 1 September,” said Miss Banerjee after the Cabinet meeting at Nabanna.

“Apart from submitting applications for enrolling under the “Lakshmir Bhandar” scheme, queries relating to all existing government schemes will be addressed at these camps. For instance, applications can be submitted for availing of the recently introduced Students’ Credit Card scheme or Swasthya Sathi scheme. Applications for other government schemes namely Krishak Bandhu, Tafshili Bandhu, Joy Johar, Kanyashree, digital ration card as well as Aadhar card linking related queries can be dropped at the camps,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet today approved “Sand Mining Policy 2021” to reign over the local sand mafias and ensure that natural resources are not destroyed.

Miss Banerjee said that despite trying hard the government fails to regularise the mining process due to local sand mafias who ignore the district magistrates and lift higher than permissible limits.

“This destroys our natural resources and the environment while the state loses revenue. We have decided to strengthen Mineral Mining Corporation and make the system centralised by bringing it under the mining board. Instead of the district magistrate the chief secretary and finance secretary will monitor the process. The entire system will be digitised so as to bring in transparency. All should know that our natural and state resources cannot be stolen,” said Miss Banerjee.

Phone numbers will be circulated so that local people can lodge complaints if they notice any activities of illegal mining. “Action will be taken against the accused. No one would be spared. From A to Z officers, staff and political leaders, the same method will be applied for all,” she added.

Next, the Cabinet approved the “Uthsari” scheme under which teachers can apply for transfers to their home districts or to schools near their houses through a portal.

Miss Banerjee further announced that “Khela Divas” will be observed across the state on 16 August and one lakh footballs would be distributed on the occasion. Elaborating on the importance of “Khela Hobe”, Miss Banerjee said it is necessary to observe it for ensuring freedom and rights of people as well as to protect our society and culture.