With the aim to promote hygiene products, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has proposed that an annual stipend be provided to the girls belonging to families with income less than Rs 5 lakh, and between the age 12-20 years.
The announcement for this proposal was made at the legislative assembly on the first day of the e-budget or digital budget. This was the first time that the state budget was announced in a digital format.
According to Guwahati Plus, Himanta said,
This stipend will be directly transferred to the girls’ bank accounts linked to their date of birth and the payments will automatically stop once they reach 20 years of age.
The girls in Assam will be provided with an annual stipend of Rs 600, uniquely for the purpose of purchasing sanitary napkins. According to Time8, the registrations will be done at the Block Development Offices after which the girls can avail this benefit.
Their registrations will be linked to the payment of stipend and their date of birth, and the payment will stop automatically once the girl becomes 20-year-old. The minister proposed that nearly five lakh girls will be covered under the scheme in the session 2018-2019.
Nearly Rs 30 crore has been set aside for the scheme that aims to promote menstrual hygiene among girls by making sanitary napkins accessible and affordable. The government hopes that the initiative will help in improving the health of women across the state.
According to the Hindustan Times, Sarma said during the budget session,
I have always believed and felt that the day is not far when Assam will be among the top five states in the country in good governance, economic progress, human development indicators, and overall happiness quotient of its people.