Hyderabad, Jan 6 (IANS) The UPA government's cash transfer scheme was launched in Andhra Pradesh Sunday by union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.
The Aadhar-enabled Direct Benefits Transfer Scheme (DBTS) was launched in Gollaprolu village in East Godavari district in the presence of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and senior officials.
East Godavari in coastal Andhra is one the four districts in the state where the scheme is being launched as part of the nationwide rollout of DBTS in the first phase.
Jairam Ramesh paid a Rs.500 social security pension to Nilla Satyanarayana, a physically challenged person, using a micro ATM, to formally launch the scheme.
Wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) were also paid on the occasion.
Describing the scheme as historic, Ramesh said by August 2013, beneficiaries under social security pension and scholarship programmes in all the villages will be directly paid the amount.
"You need not run to banks or post-offices to get money. Money will come to you at your doorstep," he told the villagers.
The minister said that the pensions, wages under MGNREGS and scholarships will be distributed through business correspondents using micro ATMs.
The government every year is paying Rs.3,000 crore as wages to 55 lakh MGNREGS workers and Rs.425 crore as social security pensions to 16 lakh beneficiaries in the state.
The chief minister said that out of 8.46 crore population in the state, 6.29 crore were already enrolled under Aadhar and out of them five crore people were issued Aadhar cards or UID numbers.
He said the cash transfer scheme would be rolled out in all four districts in two to three months.
East Godavari district has the distinction of achieving 99 percent enrolment for Aadhar and 43.32 lakh persons were already issued the cards.
The district has 11.66 lakh beneficiaries under the DBTS, including MGNREGS and social security Pensions. Of these, 8.02 lakh had Aadhar cards along with bank accounts.
FINO PayTech is working with ICICI Bank in the district to facilitate the payments. The payments are made after authentication of beneficiaries' finger print and UID number on Micro ATMs.