Following the directions of the National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers chaired by the Prime Minister on 26th November, 2012, the Executive Committee held a meeting for follow-up action On Direct Cash Transfers.
The Executive Committee, chaired by the Principal Secretary in the PMO, discussed in detail the core objective of how Direct Cash Transfers of benefits in the identified 34 schemes in the selected 43 districts (excluding, till the end of the election process, 8 districts in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat), will be implemented as per the timelines finalized earlier by the National Committee. (Details on: http://pmindia.gov.in/press-details.php?nodeid=1549 ).
After a detailed discussion on the preparedness of each Ministry for rolling out Direct Cash Transfers for the identified 34 schemes in the selected districts (excluding, districts in HP and Gujarat upto the date 20.12.12), the following decisions were taken:
A one-day meeting of the Collectors of the concerned districts (excluding Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh) will be held between 10-15 December 2012. Planning Commission will immediately finalise the dates for the meeting and communicate it to all concerned.
Planning Commission will organize a video conference with Chief Secretaries/Finance Secretaries of the participating States to assess preparedness for commencing the rollout. All Members of the Executive Committee will be informed and would be encouraged to participate personally in the video conference.
At the field level, for Ministries implementing schemes, firming up and digitising databases, completing enrolment for Aadhaar by all beneficiaries, ensuring bank accounts for all beneficiaries, ensuring that Aadhaar numbers are entered into bank account databases and beneficiary databases will be the primary activity in the coming few weeks. This has to be addressed on a war footing. The best approach may be a Camp approach. Collectors will need to be given clear instructions on how to do this when they come for the meeting next week. Planning Commission will coordinate the necessary preparations for this.
Standardised formats for the basic data to be collected for entry of Aadhaar numbers and Bank account details will be finalised by D/o Financial Services, in consultation with UIDAI, Banks and implementing Ministries and sent to Planning Commission for circulation to all concerned. This format will contain the minimum essential data that will be needed for effecting Aadhaar-enabled Direct Cash Transfers. Departments may have additional fields to meet the requirements of their schemes.
For Centrally Sponsored Schemes, Ministries will continue to transfer funds through states as at present. For Central Sector schemes, the Direct Cash Transfers will be directly to beneficiary from GoI Ministries.
Department of Expenditure will work out, in consultation with DoFS, UIDAI, Planning Commission and other implementing Ministries, the process for fund flows and any changes that need to be made to current instructions on Utilisation Certificates, etc. so that all these meet government accounting and reporting requirements.
For schemes where the beneficiary is a minor, there would be a joint bank account, preferably with the mother. The Aadhaar of the child would be used by the scheme for beneficiary identification purposes. The mother`s Aadhaar would be needed for operating the bank account. Ministries would issue guidelines on these lines for their schemes. DoFS will issue necessary instructions in this regard to banks.
Secretaries of implementing Ministries may consider visits to a neighbouring district to familiarise themselves with ground realities and the processes that will be needed for rollout to be effective.
Banks would also be authorised to be Registrars for Aadhaar numbers and will be enabled to enroll beneficiaries for Aaadhaar at the locations where camps are to be held and otherwise as well.
Matters relating to schemes of the Ministry of Rural Development will be addressed in a separate meeting.
DIT will communicate the names of their Core Group to all departments and will also allocate specific Ministries to each Core Group member.
The Technology Committee will look into all matters relating to standards for all technical equipment that are required needed to rollout Direct Cash Transfers and issue necessary guidelines on this.
Department of Financial Services, UIDAI, and individual Ministries will have to ensure availability of hardware for enabling Direct Cash Transfers.
Department of Financial Services will look into the issue of Service Charges by banks on individual transactions, limits on balances in no-frills accounts, definition of inoperative account and other related matters impacting Direct Cash Transfers.
All implementing Ministries will launch publicity/ information/ instruction campaigns in the 43 districts immediately and in the 8 districts of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat after 20.12.12.