The State government on Friday expressed qualified support for the Centre’s ambitious Direct-Cash-Transfer initiative but said the scheme was not a panacea for all the ills in the present welfare programmes.
In his address to the Assembly, Governor K. Rosaiah said the government favoured cash transfer through bank accounts only for schemes such as social security pension and scholarship to students. “However, we strongly oppose any move to transfer the benefits in cash to schemes like public distribution system and fertilizer subsidy where access and timely availability of entitlements should take precedence over administrative convenience,” he said.
Quoting Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz that “development is about transforming the lives of people and not just transforming economies,” he said noble ideals of transforming lives and eradication of poverty could not be achieved merely by transferring money to the hands of the poor.
He also made it clear that any attempt by the Centre to bypass the State governments and transfer benefits directly to the beneficiary, disguised as direct-cash-transfer, was not acceptable to Tamil Nadu government.
“Any fund transfer from the Centre should be done only through the State government for better accountability,” he said.
He also announced the State government’s decision to create the State Residents Data Hub (SRDH) for integrating Aadhar numbers with the biometry-enabled individual citizen’s data derived from the National Population Registry.
“The SRDH will ensure the availability of a Unified Data Repository to service all departments. It is also proposed to use this data hub for the Aadhar-based payment system to disburse welfare benefits, besides facilitating the implementation of Aadhar-enabled citizen centric service delivery,” he said.
Recalling Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s demand for notifying the final order of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal, he expressed the hope that the Centre would accede to the demand without delay.
“In the case of Mullaperiyar Dam, the empowered committee appointed by the Supreme Court has found the dam structurally, hydrologically and seismically safe. Tamil Nadu government hopes that the Supreme Court will deliver a favourable order upholding our stand,” he said.
Considering the plight of the people living in the houses constructed by the NGOs under the tsunami rehabilitation scheme, the State government would provide Rs. 30.69 crore to rectify the leakages from the roofs of 16,883 houses, the Governor added.