PM constitutes 18-member panel to streamline direct cash transfers

In what could be called a move to impart direction to direct cash transfer of benefits to individuals under various government schemes, the Prime Minister on Thursday constituted an 18-member coordination committee: the National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers.

The main function of the proposed committee will be to specify timelines for the rollout of direct cash transfers in identified schemes. Its objective will be to enhance efficiency, transparency and accountability in such schemes.

The committee will be chaired by the PM and will have 11 Cabinet ministers, 2 ministers of state with independent charge, the Planning Commission deputy chairman, the UIDAI chairman and the Cabinet secretary. The principal secretary to the PM will be the convenor. "The PM may invite any other minister/officer/expert to any meeting of the committee," an official statement said.

The committee will also leverage the investments made under the Aadhaar project, besides financial inclusion and other initiatives of the government.

The proposed committee will also determine broad policy objectives and strategies for direct cash transfers and identify government programmes and schemes for which direct cash transfers to individuals can be adopted. It will also suggest the extent and scope of direct cash transfers in each case. Besides, it will enable direct cash transfers and ensure timely, coordinated action between various ministries, departments and agencies to ensure speedy rollout of direct cash transfers.

To finalise the operational and implementation details relating to the design and implementation of the direct cash transfer system, Mission Mode committees will be constituted, the statement said. Under the proposal, the government will also set up three sub-committees on technology, financial inclusion and implementation.

While the technology committee will focus on technology issues, payment architecture and IT issues, the financial inclusion committee will try to ensure universal access to banking and enhance financial inclusion. There will also be an implementation committee at the ministry/department level to work out the details of cash transfers for each department, such as data bases, direct cash transfer rules and control and audit mechanisms.

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