The plea from the opposition party came even as the Prime Minister’s Office instructed ministries to take up the scheme on priority and ensure “seamless and trouble-free roll-out” for individual beneficiaries.
Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterji told the nine ministries whose schemes are being covered under the programme that they must ensure they are ready with the full list of beneficiaries in digital form before the roll-out date of January 1, 2013, while bottlenecks such as the banking infrastructure are cleared by the technical committees.
“I would request you to get down to the immediate task of operationalising direct cash transfers in the identified schemes in your department. The emphasis should be on having a seamless and trouble-free roll-out of the programme, first in the 51 districts and subsequently as per the agreed roll-out plan,” Chatterji wrote in his letter. “Concerns relating to availability of banking infrastructure for making this work and the financial and accounting procedures required would be addressed by the financial inclusion and technology committee.”
The BJP, however, has taken strong objection to the push, saying the move could “well have been made after the completion of the election process in Gujarat” where four districts — Mehsana, Valsad, Anand, Bhavnagar — will be covered in the first phase of 51 districts.
“But it appears to be the sinister intention of the government to use this for influencing the voters in Gujarat. Consequently, we would urge the commission to take serious note of this blatant violation of the model code of conduct. We request the commission to direct the government to withdraw the announcement and defer it to an appropriate time after the completion of the election process in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh,” said the BJP memorandum to the commission.
“The cash transfer scheme is for the entire country but the two states where elections are being held should have been excluded. If you make an announcement before the elections are due, the party in power at the Centre can benefit,” L K Advani said after petitioning the EC.
The government, however, rejected the BJP contention saying it was not a new scheme because the finance minister had announced it during the budget speech this year. “A promise made in the union budget,” the PMO tweeted to counter the BJP’s allegations.
The government had on November 26 announced that by the end of next year beneficiaries of 42 central government schemes would be given cash instead of the benefits. Setting an ambitious time-line, seen as aimed at the next general elections, the government announced that the programme would be launched in 51 districts from January 1, cover 18 states by April and the entire country by the end of next year.
Doubts have been raised about the feasibility of such an ambitious time-line considering the lack of banking infrastructure in rural areas and Aadhar numbers still to be distributed to all beneficiaries. Chatterji, however, informed the ministries about the tasks assigned to them.
“The main issue which you need to focus on is ensuring that you have a complete list of beneficiaries in digitized form seeded with Aadhaar numbers for your schemes. Digitisation of beneficiaries’ database is critical for rolling out direct cash transfers and maximum effort on this needs to be put in at the states and district levels,” he said.
Implementation committees in each of the ministries have been directed to meet weekly to supervise progress, a PMO statement said. In a letter to Nandan Nilekani, chairman of UIDAI which is giving Aadhaar numbers, Chatterji has asked for the deputation of dedicated individuals to the nine ministries to help them with technical issues.
Chatterji has also written to the department of financial services, asking its secretary to hold a meeting immediately to monitor the opening of bank accounts by beneficiaries and linking bank accounts with Aadhaar numbers.
It is indeed unfortunate that politics is played at the cost of poor people. The scheme was announced by Congress party long before elections were announced & work was in progress. If the ruling party does or attempts to do something good for the poor & needy, opposition has problems & if they do not, then again there is problems of inefficiency, etc. This is not fair. Opposition should cooperate with any good measures taken in the interests of the poor, as they may have to carry forward the same scheme more vigorously, if they come to power.
From which amount they will give as cash transfer to poor who can not afford at first place to pay and get back ?? Infinitely first they will collect money from entire population and than only will give back isn't it ?? How long and what guaranty they will slowly dis continue it in future ?? What about those who don't have ration card or bank account as they can not afford to open an account ?? can not read and write ?? aren't they punished ?? Instead of doing so much exercise and wasting many high energy Govt should reduce taxes applied on those items to such extant so no man power and money expansive process to follow. This new system is absolutely meaningless at first place.
This is solid punch on the face of BJP remote controlled by Sangh Parivar and sponsored by Hindutva sapped desi MNCs. I wonder whether that same LKA , the Louha Purush forewarned the Election Commission or the country that they are going to demolish BABRI MASJID on 06 Dec 1992? There Sardar MMS must carry on regardless. He has given bounty to the elites and the top industrialists their Antilla now it is time for him to push for such scheme where at least some bureaucrats who are already booked for their plumb roles and appointments inside and outside are checkmated.
The intention being very noble and useful. How to ensure that the benefit goes to the beneficiaries in the shortest possible time.Earlier there were multi-agencies that were involved in giving the benefit would still be there and would demand their cut in executing the cash transfer. The beneficiaries might to run from pillar to post to get their benefit. How to overcome that would be the key action areas.
The Government seems to be n undue haste to push this thru before the next elections. WhilE adhaar card is under question in court this should not be pursued. There was a news item that the number of Adhaar card issued in Hyderabad wasa few lakhs in excess!!! A FEW LAKHS IN EXCESS, This means that even after fingerprinting and retinal scan there are ways to duplicate cards. And whole India is not yet covered. Giving cash dole to a section of Indian population is constitutionally incorrect. With Congress' record for swindling,this is yet another way to syphon off public money to line some pockets. an award may be given to the rulers for...'FINDING AVENUES FOR REVENUE' STOP THIS CASH BRIBERY,YES, THIS IS NOTHING BUT BRIBERY FOR VOTES
Will really the U.P.A. decision Cash Transfer influence the Voters ? Really the Question needs Answer . As B.J.P. has taken up the matter with the Election commission that the Cash Transfer of Subside can influence the voters . As the Congress has come out with a new Policy to give the subside to the end used by transfer it in his Account . Really What ever will be the out come of results in future of this new introduced Policy but one thing is clear that Will this scheme really benefit the End Uses ?