A week after setting June 30 deadline to bankers to set up on-site ATMs to widen the scope of direct cash transfer scheme coverage, a top Finance Ministry official met bankers Wednesday and discussed the way forward for the ambitious scheme.
Mumbai: A week after setting June 30 deadline to bankers to set up on-site ATMs to widen the scope of direct cash transfer scheme coverage, a top Finance Ministry official met bankers Wednesday and discussed the way forward for the ambitious scheme.
The government is yet to get parliamentary approval for the same.
Banking secretary Rajiv Takru on Wednesday met senior bankers here and did a stock taking of the number of Aadhaar-linked bank accounts opened and debit cards issued so far.
"He also asked us what more is to be done in phase I and II of the DBT rollout. All targets are very much in place. No particular reservations have been voiced by the ministry.
"There are a few issues on technical grounds which have been discussed. And probably NPCI, IBA and banks will be working together to solve those issues," Indian Overseas Bank Executive Director M Chawli told reporters.
Takru did not speak to the media after the meeting held at the headquarters of the financial giant LIC.
Earlier in the day, Oil Minister Veerappa Moily announced that the DBT scheme will be extended to LPG supply in 20 districts from June 1, under which the subsidy on the cooking gas will be directly transferred to the consumer's bank account.
Today's meeting follows a direction to banks from the ministry last week to install onsite ATMs by June 30. Gearing up for the second phase of the rollout of the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme, the government last week had asked banks to install ATMs at their branches in 121 districts by the end of June.
The first phase rollout of the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) began on January 1, covering 43 districts. The second phase will begin on July 1 that will cover 78 more districts.
"The installation of onsite ATM in these 121 districts must be completed by June 30. It should be ensured that debit cards are issued to the beneficiaries under the scheme taken up for DBT," Finance Ministry said in a communication to all public sector banks.
The department of financial services has asked the sponsor banks, engaged for opening bank accounts for DBT beneficiaries, to ensure that their regional rural banks complete the process of installing onsite ATMs by the said time period.
As of now DBT scheme covers benefits like scholarships, pensions, MGNREGA wages directly to the bank or Post Office accounts of identified beneficiaries. The scheme will cover 20 districts to cover LPG cylinder subsidy from June 1 or before, while rest of the country will be included under LPG subsidy from October 1.
The ministry said "action for opening the bank account of beneficiaries without bank account has to be initiated by the banks. It needs to be ensured that bank accounts are opened within a maximum of seven days from the date of receipt of application from the beneficiary."
It has further directed banks that accounts should be opened in the bank as per the choice of the beneficiary.
"It has been reported that in some cases, bank branches were taking the position that account should be opened only with the service area branch...The service area branch is, however, under the obligation to open the account if the beneficiary does not want account in any other branch," it said.
Banks are required to furnish the list of beneficiaries with Aadhaar number (wherever available) after verification. They have also been asked to seed the existing accounts or open new accounts with Aadhaar numbers.
It has also asked banks to ensure that procurement of business correspondents transaction device such as hand held device/point of sale terminals/kiosk banking by the bank or by the vendor conforms to the standards circulated by the IBA.
To facilitate DBT for delivery of social welfare schemes through direct credit to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, the government has asked the banks to open accounts for all eligible individuals in camp mode with the support of local government authorities.