Govt justifies announcing cash transfer scheme- Business News

Govt justifies announcing cash transfer scheme

BT Online Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: December 4, 2012  | 00:00 IST

The government has justified the announcement of its direct cash transfer scheme, saying it does not constitute violation of the model code of conduct and does not contain anything new that was not in this year's Budget.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had objected to the government announcement in the middle of elections in Gujarat and had petitioned the Election Commission to set aside the scheme.

In a communication to the poll authority, which had expressed unhappiness over last week's announcement and sought an explanation, the government said the finance minister's Budget speech in March had outlined the success of several pilots across a number of states relating to the Aadhar-based service delivery mechanism.

"This clearly established that the Scheme had already been partially operationalised even prior to March 2012," the government contended.

It said that recommendations of the Task Force headed by Nandan Nilekani on IT strategy for Direct Transfer of Subsidy were made way back in February 2012. These recommendations were accepted by the government in March 2012, and were also announced by the finance minister in his Budget Speech.

"The present proposal to extend the pilots to 51 districts across India is the logical next step towards the implementation of this methodology of transferring benefits to at least 50 districts. This is meant to ensure that the final roll out of Direct Cash Transfers is seamless and smooth. Thus, the proposed pilot in 51 districts is not a new scheme but an extension of the pilot already in place," the communication from the Planning Commission said.

"In view of all (the) above, it is stated that the announcement being objected to does not constitute a violation of the Model Code of Conduct," the letter said.

With inputs from PTI

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