The Government’s proposal to introduce cash transfers in the case of all subsidies may be welcome as it is expected to directly reach the target population. But I am not sure whether a detailed study has been undertaken on the modalities of implementing such a mammoth scheme. I am not aware of the government fixing any timeline for release of the subsidy. If it is going to take months, it would result in a lot of hardship to the poor.
The poor would have to incur the full cost of the gas cylinder or PDS supplies and rely on the benevolence of the government machinery. The scheme also entails additional workload for the PDS shopkeeper or the gas agency who have to maintain massive records.
This refers to the article ‘Cash transfers, a potential game-changer’ (Business Line, December 3). The introduction of direct cash transfer to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts is a welcome step as it would eliminate middlemen and the delay in getting the subsidy amount. But the work on registration and taking photographs of all the beneficiaries has not yet been completed in many areas. Further, since the form/questionnaire for getting the card is printed in English, the beneficiaries find it difficult to fill it up, for which they have to seek the help of brokers. It defeats the very purpose of the scheme. Further, only select post offices and financial agencies have been authorised to enroll for the scheme and hence there is a big crowd in these offices.
Hence, it is requested that with a view to complete the work within the stipulated time and to enable all the eligible persons to avail the government's subsidy, all nationalised banks, more post offices and private non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) may be authorised as the registering authority for the Aadhaar scheme.