By BS Reporter
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today constituted a high-level national co-ordination committee under him, to expedite implementation of a direct cash transfer mechanism. The committee will formulate a road map and guide the process.
This move comes within a week after the PM launched the Aadhaar-based payment system nation-wide on Saturday from Dudu, Rajasthan.
The high-level committee - National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers - will coordinate the introduction of direct cash transfers to individuals under various government schemes and programmes.
Eleven Cabinet ministers including finance minister P Chidambaram, two ministers of state with independent charge, the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani, and Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth will be members, while the principal secretary to the Prime Minister, Pulok Chaterji, will be convenor.
A release from the prime minister's office (PMO) said the Prime Minister might invite any other minister, officer or expert to any meeting of the committee.
The committee will give an overarching vision and direction to enable direct cash transfers under various government schemes to individuals, leveraging the investments being made in the Aadhaar project, financial inclusion and other initiatives of the government.
It will also determine broad policy objectives and strategies for direct cash transfers and will identify government programmes and schemes for which direct cash transfers to individuals can be adopted, besides suggesting the extent and scope of direct cash transfers in each case.
The committee will coordinate the activities of various ministries, departments and agencies involved in enabling direct cash transfers and will ensure timely, coordinated action for the speedy roll-out of direct cash transfers across the country.
Specifying timelines for the rollout of direct cash transfers, review of the progress of implementation and guiding mid-course corrections would also be part of the panel's job.
The committee will be assisted by an executive committee on direct cash transfers chaired by the principal secretary to PM and the secretaries of the ministries concerned and director-general of UIDAI as its members with the secretary, Planning Commission as convenor.
Also on the cards are mission mode committees on technology, financial inclusion and implementation of electronic transfer. These committees will finalise the operational and implementation details of the design and ensure a smooth roll-out.
The other members of the national coordination committee include ministers of rural development, social justice and empowerment, human resource development, tribal affairs, minority affairs, health & family welfare, labour and employment, petroleum and natural gas, chemicals and fertilizers, and ministers of state of food and public distribution and women and child development.