New Delhi: The government will implement subsidy cash transfer programme in fewer schemes than earlier planned, acknowledging that the schedule for the roll-out was too ambitious and that the administration wanted to minimize errors.
Cash transfers will take place for 26 schemes in 20 districts from Tuesday, against the earlier target of 34 schemes in 43 districts. Payments in seven schemes will take place on 1 January, the government said, with transfers in other programmes coming due later.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram said direct cash transfers will be rolled out in another 11 districts from 1 February and in 12 districts from 1 March.
“We have been moving ahead with great degree of caution so that we don’t make mistakes and stumble,’’ he said at a press briefing.
He also said beneficiaries whose bank accounts are not linked to the unique identity, or Aadhaar, numbers will still be covered under the cash transfer programme in areas where it’s being implemented.
About 200,000 people will benefit from the first phase of the roll-out of the cash transfers programme from 1 January, said information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari.
Direct cash transfers of subsidies are seen as the ruling United Progressive Alliance’s key electoral plank for the 2014 polls. The government, though, has been criticized for setting very ambitious timelines for the complex project.