On Thursday, The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh said in the last two years, it doled out a sum of Rs 1.07 lakh crore to over 4.48 crore women in the state under various direct benefit transfer and non-DBT schemes.
On the first day of the monsoon session, the state Legislature took up a short duration discussion on women empowerment. Making a statement in the Assembly, Women Development and Child Welfare Minister Taneti Vanita said a sum of Rs 74,022 crore has been transferred to the bank accounts of 3,43,17,182 women under DBT schemes like Amma Vodi, Kapu Nestham, Cheyuta, Aasara, Rythu Bharosa, Vahana Mitra, etc.
Another Rs 33,737 crore was spent on 1,05,55,909 women through non-DBT schemes, the Minister noted. “The government is committed to the welfare and empowerment of women by providing them better opportunities in employment, education, health and overall economic development. Our welfare philosophy is to include every eligible beneficiary on saturation basis,” Vanita said.
Referring to the Amma Vodi scheme, under which Rs 14,000 is given to women every year for sending their kids to school, the Minister said the number of school-going children increased to 73.06 lakh – a hike of 2.63 lakh. She said 60,919 women were provided jobs in the village and ward secretariats, which was 50.16 per cent of the total recruitment. Vanita said the state Legislature passed the Criminal Law (Andhra Pradesh Amendment) Bill, 2019, and Andhra Pradesh Disha Bill, 2019, seeking amendments to the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure for ensuring speedy justice and stringent punishment in cases of sexual offences against women and children.
“The Bills have been sent to the Centre for President’s assent,” she said, adding that the state government initiated several “pro-active” measures to establish an enabling framework “in anticipation of the (President’s) assent” for the two Bills. Winding up the discussion, after several of his party women legislators addressed the House heaping praise on him over the “women welfare and empowerment” initiatives, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy said AP stood as a model for other states in the country in ensuring women safety.
“We have appointed women police in village and ward secretariats for the safety of women. We are taking prompt action whenever there is crime against women. We have passed the Disha Bill, which is now awaiting the presidential assent,” the CM said. Reddy listed out various freebie schemes implemented for the benefit of women. “We are implementing the welfare schemes leaving no scope for any sort of discrimination, including political,” he added.
The Legislature session was convened on Thursday as the government was required under the Constitution to conduct it within a gap of six months. In the year 2021 so far, the Legislature sat for a day on May 20 to pass the annual budget. At the Business Advisory Committee meeting in the morning, the government announced that it would conduct this session till November 26, though the opposition Telugu Desam Party wanted the sittings for at least 15 days to discuss 27 issues of public concern.
Government Chief Whip G Srikanth Reddy told reporters after the BAC meeting that they were ready to discuss any number of issues in the House. The government, on its part, has to replace 14 Ordinances, promulgated in the last six months, and enact legislation.
Dasari Sudha, who has been elected to the Assembly in the recent by-election from Badvel (SC) constituency, was sworn-in as a member. The House, on the first day, mourned the death of several former MLAs
-With PTI Inputs