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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Even as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while giving his pep up talk to the party cadres on the BJD foundation day had bowled few googlies to the national party BJP for what he called – only doing lip service to empower women, the interesting takeaway, however, is one of his important cabinet colleague Arun Sahoo with all glee had lapped up the Modi government’s girl child empowerment scheme – the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY).

Such a provoking fact was to the fore on Sunday when all the ministers in Odisha had made their annual property returns public. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also notified his annual property returns for the year 2019-20.

A cursory glance at the APR statement filed by the State Agriculture and Higher Education Minister Arun Sahoo shows that the Minister has opened up two Sukanya accounts in the name of his two daughters. The APR has telltale signs that reveal how the Minister looks very serious to the concept of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ slogan of the Modi government.

Sukanya Samridhi Yojana

This Yojana modelled on the Shivraj Singh Government’s Laadli Scheme was launched by PM Narendra Modi in 2015. SSY is basically a small deposit scheme of the Government of India that is meant exclusively for a girl child and is launched as a part of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Campaign. The scheme is meant to meet the education and marriage expenses of a girl child.

The APR statement of State Minister shows that he had opened two Sukanya Accounts in SBI. The value of the investment as on March-end 2020 stood at Rs 5, 18,042 and Rs 5, 18,392, respectively.

Not only Sukanya accounts, but the Minister has also taken up two LIC Child Future Plans, almost akin to the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana. The two LIC policies on girl child future plan stood at Rs 65,736 each.

Other Takeaways From APR

When the Minister owns a Toyota Innova VX worth Rs 4.36 lakh, the Swift Dzire owned by his wife costs Rs 7.91 lakh.

However, the big takeaway has been the Minister’s prudent money management skills. The APR shows an investment to the tune of Rs 4.37 lakh in PPF (Public Provident Fund).

What is PPF?  This fund is considered by market watchers as safest and an appealing saving scheme. This is an investment instrument backed by the Government of India. And none can run away with your money like the infamous chit fund owners, who debunked common man’s hard-earned money in Odisha during the period of 2012-2014.

What looks ironical is when, as per the APR, the minister is apparently being seen as a prudent money manager, allegations have flown thick and fast over his alleged involvement in the chit fund scam in the State.

The bottom line: The Aam Admi from Odisha needs to take one or two cues from their elected representatives, seriously. Instead of getting swayed by the balloon of propaganda floated during the years of 2012-14 by many high and mighty, they need to opt for the safe and secure saving instruments like bank FDs (Fixed Deposits), bonds, LIC Future Plan Policies etc, not the Chit funds.

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