KDP meeting decides groundwork has to be laid first

The Direct Cash Transfer (DCT) scheme proposed for beneficiaries under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), a safe motherhood initiative under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), came in for critical review at the monthly Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meeting here on Monday. Chairperson of the Agriculture and Industry Standing Committee in the zilla panchayat Jayashree Ashok Savaleshwar took serious exception to the move without laying the groundwork first such as setting up enough branches of nationalised banks with core banking facility and checking rate of enrolment under the Aadhaar scheme. Under the DCT scheme, cash will be directly credited to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries of various schemes and it is linked to the beneficiary’s 12-digit Aadhaar number.

Ms. Savaleshwar pointed out that most of the villages did not have bank branches and even in the existing branches the core banking facility was not available. She said that the majority of the villages in the district had not been covered under the Aadhaar scheme.

The District Health and Family Welfare Officer Shivaraj Sajjanshetty said that the intention had been to implement the DCT scheme for JSY beneficiaries from April this year. But, after taking into account the apprehensions expressed by the members and practical difficulties, a decision was taken to postpone implementation of the scheme for three months from April.

Dr .Sajjanshetty said that all health activists had been instructed to identify pregnant women and help them open bank accounts. The JSY was being implemented with the sole objective of reducing maternal and neo-natal mortality by promoting institutional delivery among poor, pregnant women. It had contributed immensely to increasing the number of institutional deliveries among the BPL, SC and ST population.

As per the instructions of the Supreme Court, a sum of Rs. 700 was provided under the JSY to pregnant women 8 to 12 weeks before the delivery. At present, the payments are made through bearer cheques.


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