Describing the direct cash transfer scheme as the “largest experiment” to reform a “broken down delivery system”, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday cautioned that it was no magic wand and more work was needed to make it successful on ground.
“It (the Direct Benefits Transfer Scheme) is not a single jaadu ki chhadi (magic wand). It is an experiment. The world’s largest experiment in administrative reform.
“It has problems on the ground. It will have problems with banks, post offices and online connectivity. We have embarked on this. We will resolve these issues as we go along,” the Union Minister for Rural Development told reporters after launching DBTS for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) at Gollaprolu in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh on Sunday afternoon.
The Minister asserted, “If we are successful (in implementing the DBTS), we would have completely reformed the welfare delivery system”.
The Minister said that by the end of August 2013, every gram panchayat, mandal and district will be on the micro ATM network. “You need not run to banks or post-offices to get money. Money will come to you at your doorstep,” Mr. Ramesh said.
“No solution is without 10 problems in India. You can always find ten problems for one solution. The key to avoiding corruption at the beneficiary end is to give the beneficiary the choice of business correspondents,” the Minister replied, when asked if the business correspondents (BCs) could be a source of corruption.
“Today, it is one bank, one business correspondent, one beneficiary. The new model is — one bank, multiple BCs and one beneficiary. The choice of BC is entirely up to the (DBTS) beneficiary,” he pointed out.
Asked whether he has obtained an Aadhar card, the Union Minister remarked, “I am not a welfare delivery system beneficiary. I don’t need an Aadhar card. Aadhar enrolment should be universal for the beneficiaries (of government schemes).
“It need not be universal for entire population,” Mr. Ramesh said.
Earlier, Mr. Ramesh launched the DBTS in East Godavari, which is one of the four districts in Andhra Pradesh where the scheme is being launched as part of the nationwide rollout of the scheme in the first phase.
East Goadavari district has the distinction of achieving 99 per cent enrolment for Aadhar and as many as 43.32 lakh persons were already issued UID cards.