Cash Transfer Scheme is Launched
Tuesday was the kick – off of the Union government’s Direct Benefits Transfer scheme and early reports show that despite scaling down the number of districts and schemes to be covered, much work still needs to be done to make the program a success in the 20 districts in six States.
Symbolic events marked the day and functions were organised. But many of the districts are still lagging in the basic requirements of the program — Aadhaar card coverage and Aadhaar – linked bank accounts.
In Andhra Pradesh, the scheme did not take off in the five targeted districts. Mysore in Karnataka seems well placed for success as it has a 95 per cent Aadhaar enrollment with more than 80 per cent of the beneficiaries having Aadhaar – linked accounts. In Delhi, the government has said that the cash transfers will go to Aadhar – linked bank accounts by April.
In Haryana, Ambala and Sonepat districts are covered in the scheme. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda praised the scheme in a speech but gave little indication of what the government’s plans are. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit formally launched the scheme in two districts with only four out of 26 Central schemes, covering 12,000 beneficiaries.
For Delhi, nine schemes are relevant. These schemes include post – matric scholarship for SC and OBC and Janani Suraksha Yojna. Ms. Dikshit distributed certificates to 50 beneficiaries of the scheme.
A cash transfer infrastructure is in place in the Capital for state schemes. This includes disbursement of old age pension to four lakh beneficiaries and widow pension to around 1.30 lakh.
In Andhra Pradesh, officials said that the glitch in linking bank accounts with the Aadhaar Number was because of the delay in bringing in key banks like Andhra Bank and the State Bank of Hyderabad under the Aadhar – based platform. Most beneficiaries have accounts in these banks. These banks have been brought under the platform now and much technical work remains to be done. Officials now say the scheme will be launched on January in East Godavari and on January 15 in Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Chittoor and Anantapur districts.
In Maharashtra, two districts of Vidarbha figure in the pilot project list. But overall, Wardha, too, lags behind. Around 25 per cent of the 10, 82,368 beneficiaries identified have Aadhar – linked bank accounts.
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