The government has decided to fast-track the Aadhaar platform, based on the direct cash transfer system, from January 1 next year. A road map for implementing the system across the country by April 1 2014 was finalised at a meeting of the executive committee on direct cash transfers. The meeting was attended by Pulok Chaterji, principal secretary to the prime minister, and Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth, among others.
It has been decided all departments engaged in transferring benefits to individual beneficiaries would quickly move to an electronic direct cash transfer system, based on the Aadhaar payment platform. The departments would identify the schemes to be move to this system. Also, to ensure the rollout is smooth and quick, a road map would be prepared.
The road map for each scheme would follow a timeline, under which 51 pilot districts would be covered from January 1 2013, 18 states from April 1 and the remaining regions would be covered from April 1 2014, or earlier. The list of schemes, road maps, and timelines would be sent to the Planning Commission and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) by November 20.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) would set up a dedicated panel of technical experts to facilitate Aadhaar-enabled direct cash transfers and help individual ministries. Through the mechanism, the Department of Financial Services would go for universal financial inclusion through individual bank accounts.
“The UIDAI would roll out Aadhaar speedily, in line with the road map, and departments would work towards digitising their databases quickly, particularly at the state level, with the help of state governments, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology and the National Informatics Centre to ensure convergence,” the PMO said in a release.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is slated to hold the first meeting of the National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers on November 26, in which the road map and timelines would be presented.