Direct cash transfers: 'The previous system was so much more convenient'
- Supreme Court to hear plea today for relook at verdict on gay sex
- J&K Governor calls for talks today, PDP signals phone call from Delhi may bring back BJP alliance
- RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.7%; CRR at 4%
- Raigad: 13 Pune college students drown during picnic at Murud beach
- Zika virus outbreak: WHO declares global emergency
Three states where the UPA govt has rolled out direct cash transfers go to polls later this year. On the ground, the scheme has not quite turned out the game-changer the government reckoned it would.
Rajasthan: The scheme that blocked kerosene
A frail Gori Sahaab, 90, instructs his son to pour mustard oil into a tiny diya in his one-room house. He once used a kerosene lamp but has stopped buying that fuel. His son says he is a "victim" of the direct cash/benefits transfer scheme. Direct Benefit Transfer: Lack of clarity on funds flow
Gori is one of many villagers in Kotkasim in Rajasthan's Alwar district who have not received their due under the cash subsidy scheme for kerosense. Cash transfer: Some cash in, some uncertainty
The pilot for cash transfer was launched in Kotkasim in December 2011. The Centre went on to launch the DBT scheme in 43 districts across the country this January 1, and expanded the rollout to 121 districts by July 1.
In Rajasthan, the scheme was launched in three districts in the first phase — Alwar, Ajmer and Udaipur. DBT is mostly being used for scholarships and maternity benefits but the government recently launched cash transfers for kerosene in some pilot blocks in the latter two districts, despite having been unable to remove glitches in Alwar.
The government feels the "visibility" of DBT is maximum where cash subsidy is involved, as the minutes of a recent high-level meeting at the national level on DBT mention. However, far from being an electoral game-changer as promoted by the Congress with its slogan "Aapka Paisa Aapke Haath", the scheme has made people more angry with the Centre than ever for disrupting the existing system.
- The economy is best served by lowering interest rates and blocking protectionism
- As it completes 10 years, there is enough evidence to show that India needs the MGNREGA
- For Randhir Singh, teaching was next to revolution-making.
- Intizar Husain seemed as much a stranger in a strange land in Pakistan as he did in India
- Ten years on, MGNREGA requires constant review. And consistency in political support
- The global economy is in trouble but India is attracting positive comment