After rolling out "Kanyashree" project for empowering adolescent girls, the West Bengal government on Wednesday introduced a new scheme "Rupashree" for marriage assistance to girls coming from economically weaker families with a budgetary allocation of Rs 1,500 crore.
Presenting the state budget for 2018-19, Finance Minister Amit Mitra said: "I propose to extend a one-time assistance of Rs 25,000 to the family of the girl with an annual income upto Rs 1.5 lakh at the time of marriage after attaining the age of 18 years."
The scheme has been named 'Rupashree' and this will benefit annually around six lakh families, he said.
"I propose to provide Rs 1500 crore in the for this scheme," Mitra said, adding that many poor families find it extremely difficult to bear expenditure of marriage of the daughters and have to borrow at a high rate of interest to bear the marriage expenses.
According to him, many of these poor families are ruined because of this and the Mamata Banerjee government "wants to stand by these families and partly relieve them of this financial burden".
Mitra also said the Kanyashree Prakalpa, the state's flagship scheme for empowerment of adolescent girls has benefitted more than 45 lakh girls.
He also proposed to increase the annual scholarship from Rs 750 to Rs 1,000 under the scheme and said the state has been spending Rs 1200 crore annually for the project of girls' empowerment.
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