UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched Delhi Annashree Yojna on Saturday under which monthly cash subsidy of Rs. 600 will be directly transferred into Aadhaar-linked bank account of the senior-most female member of two lakh poor families. The scheme is actually a food security program of Delhi government which is expected to benefit about 2 lakh families in the state. The Aadhaar based Direct Cash Transfer scheme to be launched on New Year might prove to be a trump card for the UPA in the 2014 General elections.
Sonia Gandhi said that this scheme shows the consideration of the central and the state government for the poor people. She added that such type of direct cash transfer directly into the account of the beneficiary will enhance their self-confidence and enablement. Under this scheme, 2 lakh poor families which do not get subsidized food under either Below Poverty Line (BPL) scheme or Antyodaya Anna Yojana will get benefited from this program. The scheme will consider 1st April 2012 as the begging date of this scheme and people will get cash for the previous months as well. The state government has contacted with 5 banks to implement this scheme and Aadhaar linked bank accounts are being opened in more than 800 bank branches in the state.
Sonia Gandhi also gave bank passbooks and Annshree enrollment certificates to 12 women. She added that this is not a replacement of the Public Distribution System (PDS) but rather an addition to the present food security program. Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister, Delhi, said that the Direct Cash Transfer will assist the poor people to purchase depending on their requirements besides empowering the women. The government will expend around Rs. 150 crore in the present fiscal year under this program.
Authorities informed that people can withdraw money from the micro ATMs installed at 140 Gender Resource Centres (GRS) of the state government. About 14 k legatees have opened their Aadhaar linked bank account. The beneficiaries will also be provided with a card for taking out money from bank ATMs. The state government will help about 25 lakh people in the 1st phase of this program.