: The Assembly on Thursday referred the Kerala Document Writers’, Scribes’ and Stamp Vendors’ Welfare Fund Bill and the Kerala Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission (Amendment) Bill to the respective Subject Committees.

The Kerala Document Writers’, Scribes’ and Stamp Vendors’ Welfare Fund Bill envisages the establishment of a board and framing of a welfare scheme for an estimated 7,000 people providing services under the Taxes and Registration Departments. Piloting the Bill in the Assembly, Registration Minister Anoop Jacob said the fund would be established with a corpus of Rs.84 lakh that would be received a year as monthly subscription from the 7,000 members at a rate of Rs.100. The Government would contribute Rs.8.4 lakh or 10 per cent of the total amount contributed out of the Consolidated Fund of the State to meet various expenses during the financial year.

Any person holding a valid licence of document writer or scribe under the Kerala Document Writers’ Licence rules, 1960 or a valid licence of a stamp vendor under the Kerala Manufacture and Sale of Stamp Rules, 1960 and who is below 65 years of age would be eligible to apply for membership. Former government servants who draw pension benefits and have taken up the profession after retirement would not, however, be eligible for membership.

The welfare board, which would be empowered to administer the fund scheme, will have seven official members representing the government and three non-official members representing the beneficiaries. The term of office of the board will be three years. The Bill piloted in the Assembly on Thursday seeks to replace an ordinance that had been repeatedly promulgated since January 30, 2012.

The Kerala Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission (Amendment) Bill seeks to make a small, yet impactful amendment that would be beneficial to several thousands of farmers seeking debt relief.