The Manipur Cabinet has approved the Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Affected Livelihood Support Scheme, which aims to provide direct transfer of Rs 5,000 in two equal installments (Rs. 2,500 per instalment) to every family whose livelihood has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The scheme was introduced by the Manipur government considering the economic dislocations due to COVID-19 which have severely affected the livelihood of a large percentage of the population leading to an inability to maintain a basic minimum standard of living.
Eligible occupations include street vendors, farmers, daily wage workers, construction site workers, public transport drivers, school van drivers, shop assistants, artists, weavers, performing artists and home-based businesses, among others. The scheme, which will run under the social welfare department, will provide benefit to only one beneficiary per family.
Disintegration of Manipur will not be possible even in the dream, said Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh, in his speech at the launching function of Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Affected Livelihood Support Scheme on Sunday. Singh launched the scheme aimed at extending financial assistance to the people whose livelihood have been severely affected by the COVID-19 curb measures at a function held at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat today.
The distribution of a total amount of Rs 1.56 crore to 6,276 beneficiaries of the scheme at the rate of Rs 2500 per beneficiary marked the launch function. As revealed by the chief minister, applications were invited for the scheme through proper survey at the district levels and a total of 22,336 applications were received so far including 13,651 from street vendors, 4,890 from transport drivers, 3,680 from van drivers and 145 artists. Out of the applications received, 7,943 had been verified and of this first installment of Rs 2500 each was distributed to 6,276 applicants. The total amount was around Rs 1.56 crore. The second installment for the same would be disbursed within September this year, Singh informed.
The chief minister said the state government was always ready to extend help to the people who were sincerely seeking loans to start an activity for earning their livelihood, without guarantors. To assist those seeking loans, an officer of the social welfare department would be deputed to Manipur State Co-operative Bank (MSCB) Ltd. Those who were seeking loans to start an activity for earning their livelihood could meet the officer stationed at the bank and avail loan without requiring any guarantor, he said.
Singh said that the Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Affected Livelihood Support Scheme was introduced considering economic dislocations, which had severely affected the livelihood of a large percentage of the population leading to inability to maintain a basic minimum standard of living. He asked the people to avail the benefits of the scheme while making an appeal to the public to be sincere and to abstain from making any false document to get the benefit while applying for any schemes or scholarships so that the benefit could reach the targeted and eligible beneficiaries.
Stating that the role of sincere and dedicated leaders was very necessary in taking the state towards progress, he appealed to the public to elect leaders who aimed to work for their welfare, as their representatives. Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the chief minister said that the pandemic must be one of the consequences of human activities that had destroyed the balance of nature for the last many years. He appealed to the people to know the importance of nature and contribute in preserving it by planting trees so as to minimize occurrence of certain disasters in future. The chief minister appreciated the deputy commissioners, superintendent of police, officials of different districts, medical staff, civil society organizations and others for their tireless efforts in controlling the spread of the virus.
On the occasion, the chief minister also informed that around 6,000 applicants had been identified for Start Up Scheme, which was put on hold for some period due to the pandemic, for which interviews were going on. Meeyamgi Numit and Hill Leaders’ Day which remained suspended owing to the COVID-19 pandemic would be revived soon with the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic improved, he said. State education minister Sorokhaibam Rajen who attended the function maintained that the state had shown much improvement in many sectors, whether law and order, education, health infrastructure, water supply and others, under the leadership of chief minister N Biren Singh.
He hoped that the welfare measures taken up by the chief minister will certainly help ease the hardship faced by the people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “People of the state must acknowledge the good work of the chief minister,” he said. Secretary to chief minister Ningthoujam Geoffrey stated that the scheme was introduced under the supervision of the chief minister considering the effect of COVID-19 pandemic to the livelihood of a large percentage of population, especially vulnerable groups who didn’t have a regular source of income. He added that the mode of application for the scheme had been made simple so that applicants didn’t face any problem while applying. He appealed to the public to be sincere and apply for the scheme only when one is eligible to avail it so that the benefit could reach the targeted groups.
On the occasion, financial assistance of the scheme was also distributed to some selected beneficiaries consisting of street vendors, van drivers, public transport drivers and artists among others from different districts. Some ministers and MLAs of the ruling parties, state chief secretary and top brasses of the state government and beneficiaries of the scheme attended the programme among others.