The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday announced that it will increase the remuneration provided to women in Goa under a state-sponsored scheme and also promised financial assistance to women not covered under it, if it is voted to power in the forthcoming state Assembly elections.
“This is going to be the biggest and most important women empowerment programme in the world, not only in India,” AAP’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal claimed, while addressing a women’s convention in South Goa’s Navelim Assembly segment.
The expenses under the scheme would be around Rs 500 crore annually, which would be funded by the state government by completely eliminating corruption in the system, he said.
The Delhi chief minister is on a two-day visit to Goa, where the Assembly polls are due early next year.
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Kejriwal said if his party comes to power in Goa, then the existing remuneration of Rs 1,500 provided to women under the state-sponsored ‘Griha Aadhar Scheme’ would be increased to Rs 2,500, while other women aged 18 and above, who are not covered under the scheme, would be paid Rs 1,000 per month.
He said financial stability is most important for any woman to feel empowered. “Once a woman is financially stable, she will feel empowered as she can spend the money to do those extra things for the family,” he said.
Many girls, who have left the college due to financial constraints, can use Rs 1,000 per month, which will be deposited into their accounts, for continuing their education, he said. If the AAP comes to power, the state government will give an option to women, who are financially well off, to opt out of the scheme, Kejriwal said.
“We will offer the scheme to all women in the state. Those who feel they don’t require it, can opt out of it,” he said.
Kejriwal said there is no dearth of finances to fund such schemes in Goa. “The state budget is Rs 22,000 crore, of which approximately 20 per cent, which means Rs 4,400 crore goes into corruption,” he alleged. ”We will pump this money into the system to fund these schemes,” he said.
The AAP leader said the annual expenses of all his guarantees made in Goa would be less than Rs 1,000 crore.
In the 2017 Goa polls, the AAP failed to win a single seat in the 40-member state Assembly.
The Congress had emerged as the single largest party by winning 17 seats in the 40-member House. But, the BJP at that time forged an alliance with some regional outfits and independent legislators to form government.