Problems for Direct Cash Transfer scheme

The central government is being targeted by the critics especially by the opposition for their Aadhaar based Direct Benefit Transfer rollout which began in 20 districts from January 1. The cash transfer scheme is to be implemented in 50 districts in Madhya Pradesh from 1st April but it might get delayed because of incomplete Aadhaar enrollment of the people in these districts. Even after for 2 years of continuous enrollment process, there are 15 such districts where only 500 to 1000 people have got their Aadhar cards. These districts have not covered even 5% of the work. The January launch of the DBT scheme includes 3 districts of the state while the intention is to cover 50 districts from April 1 under this scheme. Another bad news is that hundreds of Aadhar cards have been found in garbage. People who have enrolled for Aadhaar have not received their Aadhaar letters even after years and such type of news really poses questions on the government functions. This is not the first time that Aadhar cards have been found in dustbins, the similar news have also been heard earlier from other part of the country.

Aruna Roy, member of the National Advisory Council (NAC) also questioned the Aadhaar based subsidy scheme. She called Aadhaar based cash transfer a great mistake. She said that improper and partial examination will certainly result in a sure failure.

Besides its success or failure conclusion, in the form of formulation of laws through the parliament, the scheme is yet to receive its legal validation. The National Identification Authority of India Bill – 2010 is still lying in the parliament. The bill was presented in the Rajya Sabha on 3 December 2010. The parliament committee submitted its report in both the houses of the parliament on 13 December 2011. The report concluded that the with the present state of India, the committee is not in favour of this bill and it recommended the government to bring appropriate modification in the bill and then present it in the parliament.  However, the government has not mentioned its opinion on the recommendation of that report. Secondly, the government has neither introduced a new bill nor has brought any modification to the 2010 bill.

Leaving these legal issues behind, this system requires an adequate implementation of computer system and technology in every part of the country while the present condition of the nation seems to be lagging this behind by a huge margin. Next, the stat reveals that there are around 32000 bank branches in the rural India while there are more than 6 lakh villages in the country. Majority of these villages are far away from accessing the banking facilities by any means. In fact, even the basic facilities like roads and electricity are not available to a large number of villages. About 70% of the country’s population lives in villages and out of 121 crore people in the country, UIDAI portal says that they have issued few more than 24 crore Aadhaar numbers while the interesting fact is that out of these 24 crore people a large section of people is still waiting to receive their Aadhaar numbers.

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