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`Cash transfer only in those districts where readiness fool proof`

Last Updated: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 21:09

New Delhi: The government`s ambitious direct cash transfer scheme would be rolled out only in those districts where preparations are fool-proof, a Finance Ministry official said here on Monday.

The government had earlier said it would implement the cash transfer programme from January 1, 2013 in 51 districts.

"The rollout would be in only those districts and for only those schemes for which preparations are fool-proof," the official told reporters here.

The government has proposed to rollout the direct cash transfer (DCT) scheme meant for providing subsidy and other welfare schemes to the desired beneficiaries by transferring money to their Aadhaar-enabled bank accounts.

The direct cash transfer scheme has been introduced to prevent leakages and corruption in implementation of social welfare related schemes.

"As of now, we have identified 51 districts and 39 schemes, but these are not final. We have made full preparations.

"However, some of the districts and schemes may not be covered in the first phase of rollout. But we are committed to the success of the direct cash transfer scheme," the official said.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram will visit a few of the selected districts before January 1, 2013 to take stock of the preparations for the first DCT rollout.

The government had received complaints about direct cash transfer scheme for the beneficiaries of kerosene oil subsidy in Alwar district of Rajasthan.

The project had started in Alwar district on a pilot basis in December 2011. There had been complaints about non-receipt of cash in the beneficiary accounts.

Chidambaram visited Alwar recently and is expected to visit other districts as well.

The Finance Ministry is confident of covering the whole country under the DCT scheme by the end of 2013.

"It is necessary to make the growth inclusive to extend the benefit to all. It is also necessary to spend a large portion of national capital for economic activities.

"Moreover, it is also required to spend a large portion for welfare of poors keeping in view long term economic growth," the official said.

The official said: "Aadhaar enabled bank accounts would make the process of DCT transparent as the existing central and state government machinery has not been able to prevent the leakages and corruption."

However, many of the state governments and UPA parties have opposed the DCT scheme saying it would disrupt the current Public Distribution System (PDS) and the indented beneficiaries would not get proper foodgrain.

Meanwhile, the governments of Odisha, Tripura and West Bengal have openly criticised the central government scheme of direct cash transfer.

Also, the official said India`s economic growth could be little over 6 per cent in 2013-14 if government restricts the fiscal deficit to the targeted level of 5.3 percent this year and presents an encouraging budget for the next fiscal.

"If this year`s accounts are proper and we are able to put together a good budget then the growth could be 6 per cent plus in the next fiscal."


First Published: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 21:09

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