Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set up a national committee on direct cash transfers which will be headed by him. The committee is set up to provide an overarching vision and direction to a project under which cash transfers will be done direct to bank accounts of government beneficiaries using the Aadhaar identity.
The panel with 11 cabinet ministers, two ministers of state and others as members was named as a mechanism to coordinate action for the introduction of the direct cash transfers to individuals, the Prime Minister’s Office said. “The prime minister has constituted the National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers (NCDCT) as a mechanism to coordinate action for the introduction of direct cash transfers,” it said.
Mr. Singh will be the chairperson of the committee. His principal secretary Pulok Chatterji will be the convenor with Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Communications Minister Kapil Sibal and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh as members among others.
“The prime minister may invite any other minister, officer or expert to any meeting of the committee,” PMO said. “The NCDCT would engage in “providing an overarching vision and direction to enable direct cash transfers of benefits under various government schemes and programmes to individuals. It will leverage the “investments being made in the Aadhaar project, financial inclusion and other initiatives of the government, with the objective of enhancing efficiency, transparency and accountability”.
It will also determine broad policy objectives and strategies for direct cash transfers, apart from identifying government programmes and schemes for which direct cash transfers to individuals can be adopted and suggest the extent and scope of direct cash transfers in each case.
Along with coordinating the activities of various ministries, departments and agencies involved in enabling direct cash transfers and ensure timely, coordinated action to ensure speedy rollout of direct cash transfers across the country, the NCDCT will also specify time lines for the rollout of direct cash transfers.
It will review the progress of implementation of direct cash transfers and provide guidance for mid-course corrections, and take care of any other related matter regarding the project.
The NCDCT, the release said, would be assisted by an executive committee on direct cash transfers chaired by Pulok Chatterji and the secretaries of the concerned ministries and Unique Identity Authority of India Director General R.S. Sharma. The convenor of the executive committee will be Planning Commission secretary Sindhushree Khullar.
The executive committee would engage in identifying and proposing to the national committee government schemes for direct cash transfers, ensure preparation of and approve strategies and action plans for speedy rollout of the project, coordinate the activities of ministries and agencies, apart from review and monitor the rollout of the project.
The Planning Commission will be the nodal department for NCDCT. It will designate a joint secretary to coordinate and service the national committee and the executive committee by obtaining necessary assistance from other ministries and departments.
In order to finalise the operational and implementation details relating to the design and implementation of the direct cash transfer system, and for ensuring a smooth roll-out of direct cash transfers in an orderly and timely fashion, mission mode committees will be constituted on technology, financial inclusion and implementation of electronic transfers, for which notifications will be issued later.