New Delhi: The
government Friday set a Jan 1, 2013 deadline for kick starting its
ambitious scheme of directly transferring cash to beneficiaries of
welfare schemes and subsidiaries, a project announced by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh over a month ago, in 51 districts across
The decision was taken at a meeting of the executive committee on
direct cash transfers chaired by prime minister's Principal
Secretary Pulok Chatterji here.
Under the plan approved for roll out, the scheme will cover the 18
states and union territories in the country by April 2013 and it
will be extended to another 16 states and union territories by
April 2014, according to a release from the prime minister's
The prime minister will chair the first national committee meeting
Nov 26 where the roadmap and timelines will be presented.
The executive committee meeting was attended by secretaries and
representatives of departments of financial services, unique
identity authority (Aadhaar), information technology, planning
commission, expenditure, posts, rural development.
Representatives of social justice and empowerment, tribal affairs,
minority affairs, higher education, school education, health and
family welfare, women and child development, labour and
employment, petroleum and natural gas, fertilizers, and food and
public distribution were also present during the meet.
"The purpose of the meeting was to move forward and operationalise
direct cash transfers for which many steps need to be taken," the
"The necessary steps include identification of areas where direct
cash transfers can be introduced, establishing mechanisms for
preparing roll out plans for these areas, ensuring rapid roll out
of Aadhaar to achieve better coverage (at least 80 percent).
"Ensuring universal access to banking and financial inclusion and
setting up mechanisms to enable cash transfers to actually take
place," it said.
"To facilitate all this, there is a need to constitute other
committees including a technology committee, a financial inclusion
committee and implementation committees within each ministry so as
to ensure coordination and quick implementation," it added.
The list of schemes, roadmaps, and timelines will be sent to the
planning commission and PMO within 10 days, by Nov 20.
Aadhaar will set up a dedicated cell of technical experts in
authority to facilitate the direct cash transfers and help
individual ministries. It will also roll out its identity cards
speedily in line with the roadmap.
Department of financial services will go for universal financial
inclusion through individual bank accounts for all in line with
All other departments will work towards digitising their databases
quickly, particularly at the state level with the help of state
governments, information technology department and National
Informatics Centre to ensure convergence.