Jayalalithaa opposes cash benefits scheme

Last Updated: Sat, Apr 27, 2013 17:27 hrs

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him not to introduce the Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme in her state.

Jayalalithaa said the keystone United Progressive Alliance (UPA) scheme that entails the transfer of subsidies in the form of cash to the deserving candidates, an "infringement of the authority of state governments".

In the strongly-worded letter to Singh, the Chief Minister dubbed the scheme as "unilateral" and against the principles of federalism, media reports said.

She also expressed reservations over the monetisation and disbursement in cash of subsidy for essential commodities like kerosene and cooking gas as well as in the Public Distribution System (PDS).

An ambitious plan of Central government that is expected to earn the ruling Congress party political brownie points, the DBT, introduced in January, aims to convert all subsidies into bank transfers for beneficiaries, cutting down on leakages.

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