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Union ministries gear up for direct cash transfer scheme

December 14, 2012 13:53 IST

The Prime Minister's Office has asked ministries to take up the implementation of the direct cash transfer scheme on a war footing before the launch of the programme on January 1.

It has also asked them to organise camps to fast pace enrolment under Aadhaar for the purpose. The primary activity of all the ministries implementing schemes in the coming weeks will be to complete enrolment of Aadhaar for all beneficiaries.

They also have to ensure that the beneficiaries have bank accounts in which Aadhaar numbers will also be mentioned, besides compilation of beneficiary databases.

"This has to be addressed on a war footing. The best approach may be a Camp approach," the PMO said in a statement.

The Centre plans to provide direct cash transfers of benefits in 34 schemes in the selected 51 districts.

Also, the Planning Commission has been asked to finalise dates for a one-day meeting of the collectors of the concerned districts (excluding Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh) between December 10-15.

"Collectors will need to be given clear instructions on how to do this when they come for the meeting next week. The Planning Commission will coordinate the necessary preparations for this," the PMO said.

Following the directions of the National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers chaired by the prime minister in October, the Executive Committee held a meeting for follow-up action on Direct Cash Transfers.

The committee, chaired by the principal secretary in the PMO, discussed in detail the core objective of how direct cash transfers of benefits in the selected 43 districts (excluding, till the end of the election process, 8 districts in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat), will be implemented as per the timelines.

The PMO further said banks would also be authorised to be registrars for Aadhaar numbers and will be enabled to enroll beneficiaries for Aadhaar at the locations where camps are to be held and otherwise as well.

The PMO further said that all implementing ministries will launch publicity, information and instruction campaigns in the 43 districts immediately and in the 8 districts of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat after December 20.

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

Also, all members of the Executive Committee will be informed and would be encouraged to participate personally in the video conference, the PMO added.

It further said standardised formats for the basic data to be collected for entry of Aadhaar numbers and Bank account details will be finalised by the Department of Financial Services.

This will be done in consultation with UIDAI, banks and implementing ministries and sent to the Planning Commission for circulation to all concerned.

The format will contain the minimum essential data that will be needed for effecting Aadhaar-enabled direct cash transfers, it added.

"The Department of Expenditure will work out, in consultation with DoFS, UIDAI, Planning Commission and other implementing ministries, the process for fund flows and any changes that need to be made to current instructions on Utilisation Certificates, etc. so that all these meet government accounting and reporting requirements," the PMO said.

The PMO further said that for centrally sponsored schemes, ministries will continue to transfer funds through states as at present.

"For Central Sector schemes, the direct cash transfers will be directly to beneficiary from GoI ministries," it said.

For schemes where the beneficiary is a minor, the PMO said there would be a joint bank account, preferably with the mother. Under it, the Aadhaar of the child would be used for beneficiary identification purposes and mother's Aadhaar would be needed for operating the bank account.

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