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Take up cash transfer work on war footing: PMO tells ministries

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked ministries to take up preparatory work for implementation of the cash transfer scheme from January 1 on a war footing.

Firming up and digitising databases, completing enrolment for Aadhaar by all beneficiaries, ensuring bank accounts for all beneficiaries, ensuring Aadhaar numbers are entered into bank account databases and beneficiary databases will be the primary activity in the coming few weeks at the field level, for ministries implementing schemes.

The executive committee headed by Pulok Chatterji, principal secretary to the prime minister, has stressed that this has to be “addressed on a war footing. The best approach may be a camp approach”, said a PMO release.

Direct cash transfers of benefits in the identified 34 schemes in the selected 43 districts will be implemented according to the timelines beginning January 1. Banks would be authorised to be the “registrars” for Aadhaar numbers and will be empowered to enroll beneficiaries for Aadhaar, the PMO release said.

All the implementing ministries will launch publicity, information and instruction campaigns in the 43 districts immediately and in the eight districts of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat after December 20.

The Planning Commission will organise a video conference with chief secretaries and finance secretaries of the participating states to assess preparedness for commencing the rollout of the scheme.

Cash transfer is now benefits transfer

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Friday instructed the 51 district Pradesh Congress chiefs to assist in the proper implementation of the direct cash-transfer scheme, which has been rechristened as “direct benefits transfer”, in their districts. The Congress is banking on this scheme to help it sail through the 2014 elections.

Later, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said Gandhi had described the scheme as a “fundamental transformation of the delivery mechanism.”

To disburse Rs 3,00,000 crore, the government will incur a burden of Rs 5,000 crore as commission for the “business correspondents” who hand over the cash to the beneficiary on his/her doorstep.

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First Published: Sat, December 15 2012. 00:39 IST