Smart cash for Vizag district tribals

Our Bureau Visakhapatnam | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on April 11, 2012

Technology is penetrating to even remote tribal villages and hamlets and offering solutions to tricky problems faced by officials in implementing development and welfare schemes.

In Visakhapatnam district, roughly Rs 120 crore or so is being disbursed among tribals every year in implementing schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and there are often complaints of malpractices. The beneficiaries do not often get the full amount for the work they have done.

To overcome the problem, authorities have come up with the idea of forming self-help groups (SHGs) of beneficiaries to disburse the money, in the belief that it will reduce the scope for misappropriation. But even then the problem could not be effectively tackled, as several members of SHGs have complained of not receiving the money.

The authorities of the Paderu Integrated Tribal Developement Agency (ITDA) in the district have introduced the smart card scheme to disburse cash directly to the beneficiary. According to Mr. Kartikeya Mishra, Sub-collector, in the Visakhapatnam agency (tribal) area, smart cards have been issued to tribals in 148 of the 244 gram panchayats and 3,914 habitations in the 11 mandals, and by the end of the month all beneficiaries will get cards. “We have issued 2,10,249 smart cards so far and the remaining 35,000 cards will be issued by the end of the month,” he said. The tribals can simply swipe the card at the work spot after completing the work and get the money immediately.

The State Rural Development Commissioner had issued instructions to officials of the other ITDAs in the State to follow suit and issue smart cards to the beneficiaries in Government schemes. He said it would greatly reduce corruption.

Published on April 11, 2012
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