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The Jammu and Kashmir government today revised the timelines to ensure speedy implementation of the State Marriage Assistance Scheme (SMAS), an official spokesperson said. The scheme was launched in 2015 with an aim to facilitate poor girls with requisite financial support to enable them to solemnise their marriages. The scheme envisages one-time financial assistance of Rs 25,000 and five gram gold from the state's Social Welfare Department (SWD) for poor girls living below the poverty line who may not find themselves in a position to marry due to financial constraints, he said. The norms for availing benefit under the scheme include that the prospective beneficiary girl should be above 18 years of age and identified as poor in the survey list available with the concerned district development commissioners and district social welfare officers. The spokesperson said the government issued a circular, in modification to its earlier version, detailing the revised timelines as per the directions of the high court in the matter. According to the revised timelines, the spokesperson said a period of three working days has been fixed for district social welfare officer, six working days for sanctioning authority (Deputy Commissioner) while five working days have been fixed for director finance, social welfare department to dispose of the cases under the SMAS. The government has issued strict directions to all the concerned officials for ensuring strict adherence to the revised guidelines and, according to the circular, any deviation in this regard would be dealt strictly as per the Law, he said. Around 6589 beneficiaries, who were found eligible to receive the assistance as per the guidelines of the scheme, have been brought under the ambit of SMAS upto August 31, 2017.
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