New Delhi: Moving ahead with the ambitious plan for direct electronic cash transfer, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today set up a high-powered committee headed by him which will identify the schemes to be covered and ensure smooth rollout of the programme within specified timelines.
The National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers will have 11 cabinet ministers, two ministers of state with independent charge, the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, the Chairman UIDAI and the Cabinet Secretary as its members.
The Committee will act as a mechanism to coordinate action for the introduction of direct cash transfers to individuals under the various government schemes and programmes, a PMO statement said.
The scheme, which is expected to benefit one-fourth of the country's population, is being introduced to check corruption and pilferage of subsidised items.
The Committee would "provide an overarching vision and direction to enable direct cash transfers of benefits under various government schemes and programmes to individuals, leveraging the investments being made in the Aadhaar Project, financial inclusion and other initiatives of the Government, with the objective of enhancing efficiency, transparency and accountability," the statement said.
It will determine broad policy objectives and strategies for direct cash transfers and identify government programmes and schemes for which direct cash transfers to individuals can be adopted.
The Committee will suggest the extent and scope of direct cash transfers in each case besides specifying timelines for the rollout of scheme, the statement said.
It will coordinate with various ministries and departments involved in enabling direct cash transfers and ensure timely, coordinated action to ensure speedy rollout of direct cash transfers across the country, the PMO said.
The National Committee on Cash Transfers will review the progress of implementation of direct cash transfers and provide guidance for mid-course corrections.
It will be assisted by an Executive Committee on Direct Cash Transfers chaired by the Principal Secretary to PM Pulok Chatterjee.
It would "identify and propose for the consideration of the National Committee on Cash Transfers such government programmes and schemes for which direct cash transfers to individuals can be adopted and suggest the extent and scope of direct cash transfers in each case," the PMO statement said.
The Executive Committee will "ensure the preparation of and approve strategies and action plans for the speedy rollout of direct cash transfers in areas agreed to and in line with the timelines" laid down by the National Committee.
It will coordinate the activities of various ministries, departments and agencies involved in enabling direct cash transfers to ensure that the architecture and framework for direct cash transfers is in place for rolling out direct cash transfers across the country, the statement said.
The Executive Committee will also review and monitor the rollout of direct cash transfers and undertake mid-course corrections as and when necessary, it said.
"In order to finalise the operational and implementation details relating to the design and implementation of the direct cash transfer system, and for ensuring a smooth rollout of direct cash transfers in an orderly and timely fashion, Mission Mode Committees will be constituted," the PMO said.
The National Committee will include Ministers for Finance, Communications & IT, Rural Development, Social Justice & Empowerment, Human Resource Development, Tribal Affairs, Minority Affairs, Health & Family Welfare, Labour & Employment, Petroleum & Natural Gas and Chemicals & Fertilisers.
It will also have Deputy Chairperson, Planning Commission, besides Ministers of State (Independent Charge) of Food & Public Distribution and Women & Child Development.
The Mission Mode Committees will be Technology Committee, Financial Inclusion Committee, Implementation Committees on Electronic Transfer of Benefits at the ministry or department level.
The Technology Committee will focus on technology, payment architecture and IT issues while Financial Inclusion Committee will focus on ensuring universal access to banking and ensuring complete financial inclusion.
Implementation Committees on Electronic Transfer of Benefits at the ministry or department-level will work out details of cash transfers for each department such as data bases, direct cash transfer rules and control and audit mechanisms.
The notifications for these three committees will be issued in due course, the PMO statement said.