Cash transfer scheme to eliminate middlemen: FM

Alwar: Expressing satisfaction over progress in implementation of Aadhaar card-based cash transfer scheme, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said it will eliminate middlemen and ensure that government aid directly reaches the intended beneficiaries.

While addressing a gathering of government officials and representatives from various banks here, he stressed upon the crucial role Aadhaar cards, which contain the unique ID of holders, were going to play in the successful implementation of the scheme.

He also asked banks to open as many new accounts as were needed to make the scheme far-reaching in its impact.

Chidambaram expressed satisfaction over the scheme's pilot project in the district's Kotkasim village even though there were reports of difficulty in cash subsidy transfer with regard to Kerosene.

The cash transfer scheme is scheduled for rollout in 43 districts from January 1.

The Finance Minister, who was accompanied by Alwar MP and Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh, was shown black handkerchief as mark of protest by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad members. The incidence took place some 30 km away from Alwar district.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at the FICCI AGM in New Delhi on Saturday that the drive is to transfer government benefits directly to the bank accounts of individual beneficiaries through Direct Cash Transfers scheme.

"The government is rolling out Aadhaar based services rapidly so that benefits like scholarships for students, pensions for the aged, health benefits, MNREGA wages and many other benefits are transferred directly into bank accounts using Aadhaar as a bridge," Singh said.

"This will reduce leakages, cut down corruption, eliminate middlemen, target beneficiaries better and speed up transfer of benefits to eligible individuals. It will, at one go, bring in crores of people into our banking system and mainstream them into our economy," Singh added.