Direct cash transfers: The scheme that blocked kerosene

Oct 04 2013, 16:18 IST
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SummaryThe pilot for cash transfer was launched in Kotkasim in December 2011.

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 to me with complaints. I even raised it in the Vidhan Sabha. This has turned out to be a problem rather than solved anything,” says Ramhet Yadav of the BJP, MLA of Kishangarhbas in Alwar. Kotkasim falls under his constituency.

Villagers, irrespective of affiliation, are talking about the Ashok Gehlot government’s latest sops — universalised and restructured pension, free medicines and check-ups in government hospitals, and Rs 2,100 for each household that completes 100 days under MGNREGA. They are also talking about Narendra Modi and his recent rallies. Few have anything to say about DBT. And those who do have nothing positive to say.

“Aapka Paisa Aapke Haath. What sort of a scheme is this?” says Bela Devi of Tilonia village. “Who has launched it? What does it mean? Where was the money going until now? My ration card needs to be updated. Even something as basic as that is not happening

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