Aadhar, bank account mandatory for Direct Cash Transfer

New Delhi: Set to roll out its flagship Direct Cash Transfer programme from January one, the government has made it clear that money will be transfered to beneficiaries only when they provide Aadhar card and bank account number by the cut-off date in respective districts.

This was one of the issues discussed at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight to review preparedness for launch of the scheme, sources said. The meeting discussed ways to finetune coordination between Aadhar and banking systems with the beneficiaries.

It was decided that focus should be on 43 districts as eight of the remaining 51 identified districts were not ready because of Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

The sources said 35 districts would be covered on January one and rest of 43 districts would be covered by January 10. The meeting, attended by 16 ministers, was told that there should be no phased roll out within any particular district and the entire district should switch to Direct Cash Transfer at one-go on a given date.

Working on the roll out on war footing, the government is according priority to digitisation of beneficiary databases with names, addresses and Aadhar numbers. All ministries are to ensure this immediately, the sources said.

There must be 95 per cent Aadhar penetration level for all beneficiaries and over 95 per cent beneficiaries should have bank accounts, with all banks being Aadhar-compliant. The meeting discussed if it is appropriate to roll out same schemes or separate schemes in all the selected districts.

While LPG subsidy is being rolled out separately as per separate timeline of February one, 2013, food, fertiliser and kerosene are not included at the moment. For rural development schemes, the postal system has said it will be ready by June one, 2013 in all the 43 districts.

The scheme will cover 18 states by April 2013.