The Congress-led UPA Government may have announced its plans to roll out Aadhar-linked direct cash transfer for central schemes from January 1, 2013, but two of the five districts in Maharashtra selected for the purpose have only less than half of their population covered by the scheme.
Mumbai, which is part of the roll-out, has seen just over a third of its population (61.3 per cent) enroll for their Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) cards. The Centre is planning to transfer benefits directly to the bank accounts of beneficiaries of 39 schemes and the state government is planning to add some of its own schemes to it.
Out of the 51 districts selected for the operationalisation of the scheme, five are from Maharashtra. The UIDAI’s data reveals that of these, barring Wardha in Vidarbha, which has seen 81.7% of its 13 lakh population enroll for the scheme, three districts of Amravati (50.3%), Pune (36.6%) and Nandurbar (25.5%) have low coverage. A total of 61.3% (76.6 lakh) of the 1.25crore residents of Mumbai’s island city and suburbs have enrolled for their UIDAI cards. Ironically, Nandurbar, which state information technology (IT) department officials admitted is a “bad case,” was where the Aadhar scheme was launched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on September 29, 2010.
State IT secretary Rajesh Aggarwal said they had planned special enrollment camps for the targeted beneficiaries of these schemes. “Where there is no UID, we will go with the bank account (for the cash transfer),” he said, adding that the Aadhar linkage could come later. The state will also hold camps for opening of Aadhar-linked bank accounts in these five districts.
Aggarwal said that the Aadhar registrations would increase after the scheme was rolled out. “We will make sure that no one is deprived,” he added. Maharashtra is also planning data seeding in one village per taluka (outside these five districts) where the Aadhar penetration is high.
Maharashtra is the second state with the maximum number of Aadhar numbers generated. Of the state’s 11.23 crore population, 45.87 lakh (40.84%) residents have enrolled for Aadhar while the cards have been generated for 40.74 lakh people (36.28%). The Maharashtra government tops the country in registrations.