90% enrollment in 4 districts, HP to be first among equals in UID cash transfers

Punjab's three districts, Haryana's two in list of 51, just one with 80% enrollment

When the UPA government rolls out its ambitious direct cash transfer scheme from January 1, 2013, Himachal will be first among equals with four of its districts having enrolled over 90 per cent population for unique identification cards (UID).

While the four — Una, Hamirpur, Mandi and Bilaspur — have been included in the list of first 51 districts in the country, 72 per cent of the state's 68 lakh population has been enrolled for Aadhar cards, the basis for direct cash transfer to beneficiaries.

While Una and Hamirpur have achieved 98 per cent enrollment for Aadhar cards, Mandi and Bilaspur have crossed the 90 per cent mark. Other than the central welfare and subsidy schemes, which are to be linked to Aadhar, Himachal has also started pilot projects in these four districts.

"In Una, we are doing a pilot project by linking UID cards to public distribution system right up to the fair price shops. In Hamirpur, the state has initiated a pilot project on linking it to land registrations, in Bilaspur to social security schemes like old age pension and in Mandi to scholarships," Himachal's Director (IT) Subhasish Panda said.

But the January 1 deadline may prove difficult for the Congress-ruled Haryana, which is lagging behind in UID enrollment in the Chandigarh region — comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh. The state could start enrollment in only a few blocks of just four districts. Both Amabala and Sonepat, the two districts that figure in list of 51, are yet to achieve even 50 per cent enrollment.

After a good start, the enrollment drive in Punjab slowed down and the state has so far covered just 41 per cent of its population under UID. However, the enrollment in two of the three selected districts is high. Nawashahar has achieved over 80 per cent enrollment and Fatehgarh Sahib 60 per cent. But it is just 40 per cent in Gurdsapur — the third district in the list.

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