clue. Not a single government official or politician has come to explain the scheme or how it would make a difference. Even if we try to explain, people don’t get the difference. They still get pension in hand or by cheque. Scholarships may be coming directly into accounts but people hardly care about it. Here, Aadhar is all people have heard about, but only as a mandatory identity proof. Unlike MGNREGA, which was on the lips of every villager, DBT is something not everyone knows about.”
In Arahi, where cash subsidy for kerosene has just been launched, there is absolute confusion. Some say they don’t even have bank accounts, some say they are still buying at subsidised rates while others say they had to buy at full market rates but have not received any cash.
“We make it a point to transfer the subsidy in advance of the consumer week when they can go buy kerosene. A three-month advance is transferred initially,” says DSO Sunita Daga. She admits, however, that the scheme has so far been difficult to implement. “We did try to bring MGNREGA under it but it was a problem since most people have post office accounts which are not in the core banking system,” she says.
Another problem has been the delay in receiving Aadhar numbers. “I completed all the formalities nine months ago but am still waiting for my Aadhar card,” says Ram Biwas of Arahi Panchayat Samiti.
“Nobody seems interested. It was dropped like a hot potato once the government realised how complex it was and what a mess had been created. No political pressure is put on the administration to implement it and no political leader really shows interest. Our MP has not ever asked about implementation. It will have a zero impact in the coming elections,” says an Ajmer district official who wishes not to be identified.
The opposition, meanwhile, has found an issue to attack the Congress government on. “The central government is not putting in enough funds and the state government has no interest in implementing it. Every day I have people from my constituency come