Assam govt ties up with banks
By Neelima Shankar
Dec 3, 2009
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The Assam government has collaborated with banks for issuance of biometric cards to beneficiaries under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).

Chandan Brahma, the rural development minister said, "We have tied up State Bank of India (SBI), Axis Bank and Assam Gramin Vikash Bank for rolling out the biometric card. The banks will than appoint business correspondents."

He said that Andhra Pradesh had already implemented this. There are around 34 lakh job card holders in Assam and the state government has decided to raise daily wages from Rs. 80 to Rs.100.

Assam government claimed that NREGA scheme had met with huge success in the state. The minister pointed out that the state received Rs. 1361 crore from the centre in 2009-10 as against Rs. 950 crore in 2008-09.

The Assam government has agreed to provide 2% transaction cost for disbursal of NREGA fund to beneficiaries. The money of transaction cost will go to banking correspondents.

Recently, ADB has approved a loan worth $ 200 million for Assam government (nov 20). The funds would help in improvement of transmission and distribution infrastructure and reduce system losses. A distribution franchise plan, using a public-private partnership model, would be expanded into double consumer coverage.


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