Sunday, November 25, 2012

PM to chair meeting today to finalise Aadhar-based cash transfer

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will today chair the first national committee meeting to review and finalise the roll-out roadmap of UPA's flagship programme - direct cash transfer through Aadhar.

The committee has 18 members including 12 Cabinet ministers. Along with these ministers, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, the chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) - the government agency responsible for implementing the Aadhar scheme - and the Cabinet Secretary will chalk out the intricacies of the roll out.

The government had on Friday set a January 1, 2013 deadline for kick starting the ambitious scheme in 51 districts across the country. The project was announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over a month ago.

"Beginning 1st of January 2013, in 51 districts selected over 16 states of India we wish to transfer all payments of Government of India, all cash transfers, directly to the beneficiaries through Aadhar enabled bank accounts," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Friday.

The scheme will, among other things, facilitate the pay out of direct cash subsidies to the targeted beneficiaries. It aims to cover the entire country by the end of 2013.

Subsidies on LPG, kerosene, pension payments, scholarships as well as payments under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or MGNREGA and other government welfare programmes would be made directly.

The 51 District Magistrates will also be called to acquaint them with the process.

Aadhar will set up a dedicated cell of technical experts in authority to facilitate the direct cash transfers and help individual ministries. It will also roll out its identity cards speedily in line with the roadmap.

Department of financial services will go for universal financial inclusion through individual bank accounts for all in line with the roadmap.

All other departments will work towards digitising their databases quickly, particularly at the state level with the help of state governments, information technology department and National Informatics Centre to ensure convergence.