Centre scales down launch of cash transfer scheme

December 31, 2012 04:43 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 04:54 am IST - New Delhi

Union Finance Minister P. Chidambram (Right) along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tewari, during a press conference, in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Kamal Narang

Union Finance Minister P. Chidambram (Right) along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tewari, during a press conference, in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Kamal Narang

Adopting caution, the Union government on Monday scaled down the launch of its ambitious direct cash transfer scheme on Tuesday to 20 districts, instead of 43 as planned. It has also kept LPG also out of its ambit for now.

The government took this decision because a sizeable number of beneficiaries in the targeted districts do not have bank accounts to receive cash and the Aadhaar enrolment is also inadequate.

Touted as a game-changer, the programme will cover a select 26 schemes such as educational scholarship for SC/ST and OBC, and widow pension. Food, fertilizers, diesel and kerosene have already been kept out.

Addressing the media on the eve of the rollout, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the programme was being launched on January 1 in only 20 districts in six States and three Union Territories as the government wanted to move cautiously.

“We are proceeding with a great degree of caution ... We will look at transferring all subsidies and benefit through this scheme but we have to do it slowly. We are not going to rush into anything and then find that the system cannot cope with it,” the Minister said.

The government originally identified 51 districts across 16 States to be covered by the programme, under which cash subsidy benefit will directly go to the bank account of the beneficiaries having Aadhaar number.

Himachal, Gujarat exempted

Subsequently, four districts each in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat were exempted from the rollout because of the Assembly elections recently held there. The States to be covered in the initial phase are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab and the UTs of Puducherry, Chandigarh and Daman and Diu.

Top News Today

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.