Centre silences critics, backs Direct Cash Transfer project
Despite sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the recently launched Direct Cash Transfer project, Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy today backed this scheme and said that its benefits would reach directly to the people of the country without any corruption involved in the implementation.
"The cash transfer scheme is going to be a very good scheme, it is going to benefit the people, directly it will reach them. There is no question of any pilferage or corruption involved in the implementation of the scheme," he said.
Narayanasamy further said the Government of India is spending huge money for the welfare schemes of the people like 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan', the National Rural Health Mission, Employment Guarantee Scheme, Old Age Scheme, Housing Scheme and also the subsidy in the petroleum products.
Senior BJP leaders led by Lal Krishna Advani moved the Election Commission in New Delhi on Friday to protest against the government's decision to announce the Direct Cash Transfers scheme meant to replace subsidies for below-poverty line (BPL) families as well as other beneficiaries.
The BJP petitioned the Election Commission of India, and asked it to direct the government to 'withdraw' the announcement till the completion of the election process in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
Advani after the meeting yesterday said that the BJP conveyed its concern to the Election Commission that the government should not make such announcements once election dates have been declared for it will have an impact on the upcoming polls and influence the voters.
"The cash transfer scheme that was announced a few days ago should be for the entire country, but they should have excluded the states where elections are due to be held. This is to be implemented for January 1 next year, but if you make the announcement earlier it will benefit the ruling party at the Centre," he added.
Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat are the two states going to polls this year.
The government earlier on Tuesday furnished the outline of its ambitious Direct Cash Transfer scheme, with Finance Minister P. Chidambaram terming it as a big 'game changer'.
The scheme would be launched in 51 districts involving 16 states in its first phase, and present operational 42 schemes of the government, including those from the Health Ministry, would be part of the scheme.
According to the government, almost Rs 3,20,000 crore cash transfer scheme will be launched in stages and cover the entire country by the end of 2013.