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Test of flagship schemes on Jan 1

Sanjeeb Mukherjee/New Delhi 10 Dec 12 | 12:58 AM

The government’s ambitious direct cash transfer (DCT) scheme on subsidies is to be tested right in the first phase, from January 1, on some of its flagship programmes. Selected districts are to see, from January 1, a phased roll-out of the DCT. These are to be the site for testing on 29 of the government’s 42 programmes for subsidy transfer in the first phase.

The rural job guarantee law, operationalised as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), is to be one. So would the Indira Awas Yojana, the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowships and the Dhanalaxmi scheme for the girl child, among others.

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The full list of 29 programmes for putting on the Aadhaar platform on a pilot basis hasn’t been issued yet. Of the 42 schemes identified, 14 are of the ministry of social justice and empowerment.

As many as 22 relate to distribution of scholarships to different sections of society. Other ministries whose schemes have been judged suitable for DCT are human resource development, tribal affairs, minority affairs, women and child development, health and family welfare, rural development, labour and employment, petroleum and natural gas, chemicals and fertilisers, and food and public distribution.

The department of posts, with its 27 million bank accounts, of which 15 million are zero-balance ones, will form an integral part of the scheme. For the MGNREGS, officials said wherever an Aadhaar platform isn’t available, job card numbers could be used for cash transfer.

At a later stage, the cash transfer could be seeded with Aadhaar. The mid-day meal scheme isn’t being considered now for DCT but related ones such as cash for purchase of school uniforms could be rolled out on Aadhaar numbers.

In health, officials said specific components in the Janani Suraksha Yojana, in which beneficiaries are paid through cheques, could also be tried with an Aadhaar-enabled DCT system from next month.

For direct transfer of food subsidy, the department of food and public distribution will roll-out the scheme in six Union Territories and states, from April 1. These include Delhi, Puducherry and Chandigarh.

The Prime Minister’s Office has directed all ministries to prepare a schedule for DCT in the identified districts. It has also asked all departments forming part of the roll-out to designate internal nodal points, to facilitate these.

Schemes the government believes it can implement for the direct cash transfer programme, including MGNREGA
Ministry/department Number of schemes Schemes Examples of schemes
Social Justice & Empowerment 14 Education scholarships Pre and post Matric scholarships for SC and OBC students; Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship
Human Resource Development, Deptt Of Higher Education 4 Scholarship at universities/college level Fellowship schemes of UGC and AICTE
Human Resource Development, Deptt Of School Education 3 School-level scholarships National Merit Cum Means Scholarship; Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
Tribal Affairs 6 Education scholarships National Overseas Scholarship For ST Students; Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship
Minority Affairs 3 Education scholarships Matric Scholarship Scheme; Maulana Azad National Fellowship
Women and Child Development 2 Women and child welfare payments Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY); Dhanalakshi Scheme
Health & Family Welfare 1 Health care payments Janani Suraksha Yojana
Rural Development 4 Employment and housing MGNREGA; Indira Awas Yojana; National Rural Livelihood Mission
Labour & Employment 5 Housing subsidy, stipends, benefits and EPF-linked payments Housing Subsidy To Beedi Workers; Pension Withdrawal Of PF, Premature Withdrawal Of Pension
Petroleum & Natural Gas 2 Fuel subsidy Domestic LPG Subsidy Scheme; PDS Kerosene
Chemicals & Fertilisers 1 Fertiliser subsidy Subsidy Scheme For Fertilisers
Food & Public Distribution 1 Food subsidy Targeted Public Distribution System 
(Only In Union Territories)
NOTE: These include 6 schemes that are yet to be started but will migrate to the cash transfer system as soon as they are launched.
SOURCE: Government Agencies. Compiled By Sanjeeb Mukherjee

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