Cash transfer scheme: Rahul Gandhi educates district Congress chiefs



New Delhi: With the government set to launch the first phase of direct cash transfer scheme from January 1 in select districts across the country, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday conducted a training session for the party's district presidents here to brief them about its benefits.

Gandhi addressed party presidents of 51 districts where the scheme will be launched from next month, asking them to make their best efforts and ensure its success.

He also told them how the scheme will directly benefit people concerned by eliminating middle men and shortening the process of cash subsidies.

"Rahul Gandhi told them that this scheme will ensure that money reaches directly to its beneficiaries. Earlier money was given through banks and post offices, but now with the help of business correspondents, this money will reach directly to people," AICC spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.

Over a fortnight is left for launching the first phase of the scheme and district Congress presidents were told to make their maximum efforts and include as many people in the list of beneficiaries, Ahmed said.

The district chiefs were also instructed to provide their assistance in getting the Aadhar card prepared for those who will get benefits of the scheme.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, Congress General Secretary Janardan Diwedi and Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad were also present during the meeting.

Ahmed also hoped that the scheme will prove to be a "game- changer" for the Congress party, many of whose projects have been hijacked by various state governments.

"We do hope that it is going to be game changer and we are trying to give as much facilities to the people to uplift their standard of living," he said.

Replying to a question on state governments portraying various central schemes as their own, Ahmed said, "Everybody knows that NREGA was UPA's achievement and this direct cash transfer scheme was also conceptualised and conceived by the Government of India headed by Congress. But a lie is a lie and nobody can fool people for a very long period."

"People of this country have realised that Congress has done so many good things for the country such as the RTI Act, Right to Education, Food Security Bill- which is going to come soon- and direct cash transfer scheme, he added.

The Congress leader said that the scheme's next phase will try to include all 620 districts in the country and efforts are being made to ensure its smooth implementation at all levels as it was mentioned in the party's 2009 manifesto.

The scheme envisages that payouts towards pensions, scholarships and subsidies worth thousands of crores of rupees will be directly transferred to bank accounts of beneficiaries in 15 states from January 1.

PTI