Set to roll out the direct cash transfer programme from January 1, the Centre has made it clear that money will be transferred to beneficiaries only when they provide an Aadhaar card and a bank account number by the cut-off date in the respective districts.

This was one of the issues discussed at a meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday night, to review preparedness for the launch of the flagship scheme, sources said.

The meeting discussed ways to fine-tune coordination between the Aadhaar and banking systems with the beneficiaries. The focus would be on the 43 districts as eight of the remaining 51 identified districts were not ready because of Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. The sources said 35 districts would be covered on January 1 and the other eight by January 10.

No phased roll-out

The meeting, attended by 16 ministers, was told that there should be no phased roll-out within any particular district; the entire district should switch to direct cash transfer at one-go on a given date.

Working on the roll-out on a war footing, the government is according priority to digitisation of beneficiary databases with names, addresses and Aadhaar numbers. All ministries are to ensure this immediately, the sources said.

There must be a 95 per cent Aadhaar penetration level for all beneficiaries and over 95 per cent of the beneficiaries should have bank accounts, with all banks being Aadhaar-compliant. The meeting discussed whether it would be appropriate to roll out the same schemes or separate schemes in all selected districts.

February 1 timeline for LPG subsidy

While LPG subsidy is being rolled out separately as per a separate timeline of February 1, 2013, food, fertilizer and kerosene are not included at the moment. For rural development schemes, the postal system has said it will be ready by June 1 next in all 43 districts.

The scheme will cover 18 States by April 2013.

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