The government's ambitious direct cash transfer programme was rolled out in two districts of Delhi today with only four out of 26 identified schemes being covered.
Chief minister Sheila Dikshit launched the centrally-sponsored Aadhaar-enabled direct cash transfer scheme being implemented in North West and North East districts.
Touted as a "game-changer", the programme, will cover a select 26 schemes like educational scholarship for SC/ST and OBC and widow pension. Food, fertilisers, diesel and kerosene have already been kept out.
The two Delhi districts are part of 20 districts in 6 states and three Union Territories identified for launch of the programme.
Around 12,000 beneficiaries of four schemes -- post-matric scholarship for SC, post-matric scholarship for OBC, Indira Gandhi Matritava Sahyog Yojna and Janani Suraksha Yojna have been brought under the new programme.
Divisional Commissiner Dharam Pal said nine out of 26 programmes identified by the Centre are relevant to Delhi. "We could make available only programmes under the scheme," he said.
The chief minister distributed certificates to 50 beneficiaries of the scheme at a function attended by revenue minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, PWD minister Raj Kumar Chauhan, transport minister Ramakant Goswami, parliamentary secretary to the chief minister Mukesh Sharma and senior advisor in Planning Commission Vandana Jena.
In her address, Dikshit said Delhi government was planning to implement cash transfer through aadhar-linked bank accounts of beneficiaries for a number of its schemes.
"The scheme is aimed at ensuring delivery of full benefit to the beneficiaries," Dikshit said.
Dharam Pal said Delhi government has set a goal of introducing direct cash transfer under various schemes through adhaar-linked bank accounts of the beneficiaries by April this year.
Dikshit said the city government has already been disbursing cash benefits under its various social sector schemes through electronic cash transfer mode. "This includes disbursement of old age pension to 4 lakh beneficiaries, widow pension to around 1.30 lakh beneficiaries.
Further, the government has been providing one-time assistance of Rs30,000 to widows for marriage of their daughter."
Lovely favoured inclusion of kerosene and food subsidy under the ambitious cash transfer programme.
Delhi government had last month launched a major food security programme under which monthly cash subsidy of Rs600 is being transferred directly into Aadhaar-linked bank account of the senior-most female member of two lakh poor families.
Two lakh poor families, which are not getting subsidised food under either BPL scheme or Antyodaya Anna Yojana, have been identified as beneficiaries of the food programme.