Centre rolls out DCT, JK miles apart

MUKEET AKMALI

Srinagar, Jan 1:  The centre government today rolled out its ambitious Direct Cash Transfer (DCT) scheme that will initially be implemented in 20 districts in India. The scheme shall cover seven schemes wherein money will be transferred to bank accounts of the beneficiaries. However, the DCT will not initially cover food, fertilizer and fuel subsidies.
 Pertinently, the much-vaunted scheme won’t be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir in the first phase, courtesy the poor infrastructure in the state.
 According to sources, the centre government did not consider Jammu and Kashmir for the DCT due to lack of infrastructure in the state, namely non-availability of adequate number of banks in rural areas and absence of other requisite facilities necessary for the implementation of the ambitious government of India scheme.  
 Sources said the centre government is proceeding with caution. “From today under the seven schemes, the money will be transferred through the direct benefit transfer system using the UIDAI platform,” sources said.
 However subsidies relating to cooking gas (LPG), kerosene, diesel, food and fertilizers will not be included in the first phase.
 According to sources the scheme will further be rolled out in 11 districts from February 1 and 12 districts from March 1. However, sources said even on these dates it won’t be possible to roll out the scheme in any of the districts in J&K.
 “It is near impossible to fulfil the requirements in J&K in the next two or three months that are essential for the introduction of the scheme,” they said, adding that the state has not even made estimates for bringing in the necessary infrastructure to pave way for the introduction of the scheme.
 In the first phase the scheme was targeted to be implemented in 51 districts in the country including five each in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, four each in Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand, three each in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tripura and two each in Haryana, Kerala and Sikkim.  
 According to present estimates, the government’s expenditure on fuel and fertilizer subsidies stands at around Rs 73,637 crore a year. Ironically, a vast portion of it does not reach to the poor.
 Under the direct cash subsidy scheme, central and state grants for as many as 34 schemes (such as LPG and kerosene subsidy, student scholarships, old-age and widow pension schemes, and MGNREGS payments) would finally be credited directly to the beneficiaries' Aadhaar-enabled bank accounts.
 Under the scheme, cash transfers will be in the range of Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 on a yearly basis. Overall, Rs 3,20,000 crore will be distributed.

Aadhaar essential for CTS
 The CTS became possible with the identification of the poor after the introduction of Aadhaar, or unique identity scheme.
 Aadhaar is an ID card with 12-digit unique number issued to all the citizens of India (on voluntary basis). It will carry the demographics and biometric information of the holder.
 Under the system, financial institutions select banking correspondents in the villages and equip them with micro ATMs and a certain amount of cash. The Aadhaar-enabled account holders approach the correspondent and press their thumbs, which work like passwords, on the ATM to authenticate their account numbers.
 The ATM then displays the balance in his or her account before allowing withdrawal of money by the beneficiary. The correspondents go around villages, carrying the micro ATMs to extend banking services to the residents.
 The DCT scheme is exclusively for Aadhaar cardholders and only they are entitled to get cash transfer.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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