Central government’s ambitious ‘game changer’, i.e. direct cash transfer scheme [DBT] system ground reality looks quite different from the government’s claims. Banks preparation, which will play a key role in implementing the plan, is absolutely incomplete. The State-owned banks have sought Rs 7,000 crore within one year from the Finance Ministry. The UPA government has already said that it will implement this scheme in the entire nation before the next Lok Sabha election in 2014.
On the other hand, the Finance Ministry’s latest figures reveal that only 58.7% of households in the country have opened a bank account. Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra are the states, where most of the people live below the poverty line (BPL) and the reach of the banks is lowest in these regions. The banks have to say that the cost of opening up of bank accounts of families in these states will be very high. In view of this the banks have asked the ministry to clarify the cost of DBT scheme. The Finance Ministry recently had a meeting regarding the preparations of the banks in implementing the DBT scheme. Most of these are the families which have to be paid under the cash transfer scheme. Government want that within the next one to two years these families to be added to the banks. Obviously it would require lot of money.
Actually, the central government has not yet made it clear that who will bear the cost of implementing DBT. The banks have to buy 1 million micro-ATMs for this plan at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore. Banks say that the appointment of banking representatives, their training and to prepare their infrastructure service will cost an additional Rs 2,000 crore.
In this meeting the banks were told that they should hurry up the work of joining 45 thousand villages with more than 1000 population with banking facilities. In addition those 74 thousand villages with population more than 2000 which have been connected with the banks, the job to open at least one bank account in a family should be started. This will facilitate the implementation of DBT scheme.
Rajasthan Employees Provident Fund Organisation has made Aadhaar compulsory for Provident Fund (PF), pension withdrawals and direct cash transfer scheme in Udaipur, Ajmer and Alwar. In Ambala enrollment centres will be setup in 10 educational institutes for enrolling students of SC, ST and OBC category for their Aadhar card. Scholarship and government pension will not be provided without Aadhar card in future.