FM calls direct cash transfer a ”magical” step

Mumbai: Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday described government's ambitious direct cash transfer scheme as "nothing less than magical", saying the move is aimed at plugging the loopholes in the delivery mechanism and ensure that poor get complete benefits of government schemes.

Explaining the details of direct cash transfer scheme and its benefits to party workers, Chidamabaram termed the scheme as "nothing less than magical", according to MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre.

According to Thakre, Chidambaram also said the the move is aimed at ensuring that the benefits of government programmes reach the masses.

Through the cash transfer scheme the government plans to transfer cash benefits of over two dozen central schemes directly to beneficiary accounts.

The scheme will be launched in 51 districts on January 1. "The current high fiscal and current account deficits, coupled with low investment, have forced us to take some stringent measures," Chidambaram told a closed-door election workshop held here for the 2014 Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly elections, according to Thakre.

Thakre said the Finance Minister also expressed the confidence that these measures will help the economy come out of the present tough phase and that the next two years would see the economy, led by the Congress government, marching ahead with speed.

"Chidambaram informed the participants about the dire present economic situation and issues like inflation, apart from the problems arising out of the high fiscal and current account deficits," Thakre said.

Thakre was briefing the media about the deliberations at the workshop organised by the state Congress unit.

Chidambaram told the partymen that the country maintained a growth rate of over 9 per cent during 2004-08 under the UPA-I tenure, despite global recession.

During the NDA regime, the situation was exactly the opposite, Chidambaram said.