Despite howls of protest, PMO pushes ahead with direct cash transfer scheme

The Technology Committee is addressing the issues of rapid penetration of Aadhaar numbers to beneficiaries, ensuring that the Aadhaar Payment Bridge is made operational and there is complete convergence of banking system with Aadhaar.

The PMO has also asked the Department of Financial Services to hold a meeting "immediately" to oversee opening of bank accounts by the beneficiaries, seeding of bank accounts with Aadhaar numbers and ensuring that the operations of business correspondent, who will help in cash transfer, are made suitably flexible so they are easily accessible to beneficiaries wherever necessary.

The Department has been also asked to design an incentive package for the business correspondents who will dispense cash directly to beneficiaries.

The Department will also need to resolve issues of utilising the existing Post Offices network to undertake Direct Cash Transfers.

BJP leaders lodge protest with EC against cash transfer scheme

Top BJP leaders today met the Election Commission to lodge their protest against the Centre's announcement of direct cash transfer scheme ahead of Gujarat elections and demanded its withdrawal.

Led by party leader L K Advani and Leaders of Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, the BJP delegation questioned the timing of the announcement and demanded its withdrawal to ensure free and fair elections in Gujarat.

The BJP delegation also handed over a memorandum to the Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath for taking an appropriate decision so that the Centre's announcement does not influence the voting in Gujarat.

"We have discussed the issue.

It was a good discussion.

The Election Commission has assured us that all the issues raised by us will be taken care of before taking a proper decision in this regard," Advani told reporters after the meeting with CEC.

In its memorandum handed over today, the BJP has urged the Election Commission to take serious note of the "blatant" violation of the model code of conduct by the UPA by announcing the scheme.

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