CM Launches New Smart Card Scheme in Maharashtra

Maharashtra CM, Prithviraj Chavan, recently launched a new initiative in Bhiwandi village of a state. The initiative is on the lines of financial inclusion using biometrics where he issued smart cards to beneficiaries of the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana, a state-sponsored financial aid scheme for destitutes.

The cards and the cash-vending machine will work on biometric technology, whereby the beneficiary can withdraw cash from the vending machine by putting a thumb impression registered on the card.

The system of cash disbursal to beneficiaries of aid will be introduced in Thane, Kolhapur and Beed. Chavan, who was addressing a public gathering at Bhinar village in Bhiwadi, 40 km from Thane, lamented, “It is ironic that Maharashtra ranks second across the nation in terms of physical area and population. However, it has failed to match the progress in other sectors and is falling behind in other areas of development. Time has come to draw a blue-print for the sustainable development of the state for the next 50 years and ensure that in the next 10 years there are no families in the Below Poverty Line category and everyone gets employment and roof above his head.''

Chavan indicated that the state would consider a hike in the assistance money provided under the various schemes. He, however, added that advanced technology should be put to use to facilitate merging various schemes in one single card like the Unique ID cards.