It will give major push to the ambitious scheme for direct electronic transfer of cash to beneficiaries of various subsidy schemes, says Deity Secretary
New Delhi: In its bid to give a major push to the Government of India’s ambitious scheme for direct electronic transfer of cash to beneficiaries of various subsidy schemes in the country, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) is looking at roping the Common Services Centers (CSCs) in a big way.
Announcing this at the inaugural function of the day-long workshop on CSC in New Delhi on Thursday, DeitY Secretary J Satyanarayana said that CSCs can play a major role in delivering Government’s direct cash benefits to the beneficiaries in rural citizens.
“Direct delivery of cash benefits to the beneficiaries will have huge impact in the lives of rural citizens and the CSC network will address the issues of accessibility and affordability of financial services to the citizen in rural areas,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion DeitY Additional Secretary Rajeev Gauba said that while there were 96,000 CSCs functional across the country, more than one crore real-time transactions with a total transaction volume of Rs 245 crore happens in a given month. “This gives bright outlook for the CSCs being used for delivering financial services to the rural citizens,” Gauba added.
The workshops on “Catalyzing Financial Inclusion through CSCs” was organized by CSC e-Governance Services India Limited (CSC SPV), a special purpose vehicle set up by the Government of India to monitor the implementation of the CSC Scheme.
India spends a huge amount of Rs 325,000 crore annually on subsidies and the new scheme mooted by the Central Government intends to transfer individual benefits from the government directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
This is aimed at checking corruption and pilferage of subsidised items including diesel, LPG and besides leakages in other schemes like MNREGA, pension and scholarships. The direct electronic transfer of cash to beneficiaries is expected to cover one quarter of households of the country.
While setting the context of the workshop CSC SPV CEO Dinesh Tyagi said, “Delivery of financial services through CSCs includes, opening bank accounts, enabling transactions, pension and insurance related services.”
He further informed that CSC SPV has already signed Business Correspondence (BC) agreements with State Bank of India and Bank of India. “Through the Workshop on Financial Inclusion, we are further trying to create awareness about the delivery of financial services through CSCs and discuss the operational issues so as to expedite and create a robust, secure and sustainable model for delivery of financial products and services in rural India,” he said.
Giving details of State Bank of India’s (SBI) role, its Chief General Manger Ashish Kumar Roy said that the bank is committed in its mission of taking formal banking to all citizens. He also said that among all the BCs engaged by SBI, the CSC BCs were the most efficient and best in terms of delivery of services to citizen.
The workshop was attended by State govt officials, banks and insurance companies who agreed to utilise the CSC network for delivery of various financial service. CSC SPV will follow up these with concerned agencies and enable a framework for engagement of all the CSC as BC and also deliver insurance and pension products to rural citizen.
In order to support CSCs at the grassroots and generate more awareness about the Scheme and the services that the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) can offer, CSC SPV proposes to carry out a series of workshops. The series would cover a wide range of services being delivered through the CSCs.
The workshops will focus on the areas such as financial inclusion, digital literacy, education, healthcare, agriculture and Aadhaar services through CSCs. Aimed at building sustainability of the CSC, these workshops will enable the various stakeholders to come together and create appropriate frameworks for catalyzing delivery of key services to rural areas.
Under the National e-Governance Programme (NeGP) the Common Services Centers (CSC) are the Internet and broadband enabled front end service delivery outlets located in villages across the country. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITY) has so far setup approximately one lakh CSCs to take public services closer to Citizen’s doorstep.
The Workshops on ‘Catalyzing Financial Inclusion through CSCs” brought together Government Departments, regulators and practitioners from Banking, Insurance and Pension sectors, and stakeholders of the CSC Scheme (State Designated Agencies, Service Center Agencies, and Village Level Entrepreneurs) to deliberate on opportunities for increased and effective service delivery.
While State Bank of India was the knowledge partner for the workshop the event was managed by NASSCOM Foundation.