India

Good step towards transparency

Shubham Shamra
[ July 14, 2017 ] The Rural Development Ministry had started a cleansing drive to check whether funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) were reaching the genuine beneficiaries, and in that drive it was found that about 87 lakh job cards were duplicate or fake or the beneficiaries had died. About 63 percent of 12.49 crore job cards issued under MNREGA have so far been verified. It was found that the cards were made in the name of the beneficiaries who did not exist. The flagship programme of NREGA is a demand-driven employment scheme. Not less than 100 days of employment is provided to registered workers upon receipt of their demand. These workers are given job cards that are linked with their Aadhaar numbers and bank accounts.Government of Jammu and Kashmir Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has instructed the officials concerned to complete the process of linking Aadhaar cards with bank accounts of beneficiaries of MGNREGA at the earliest. Necessary direction has already been given to the panchayat raj officials to coordinate with the bank officials in this regard. Special camps will be organized in the panchayats for collection of Aadhar Numbers and consent forms. The Block Development Officer (BDO) and the representatives from banks shall sensitize the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Job card holders about the advantages of Aadhar seeding into bank accounts. Under the supervision of BDO, the PO, VLW, JE, TA, GRS and members of PRIs shall remain present at the Aadhar camps. BDO shall ensure presence of all the members of Gram Sabha and job card holders in the special camps. It shall be the responsibility of VLW, GRS, TA to ensure presence of each job card holder (ward wise) along with his/her job card and bank/post office passbook in the concern camp. The ward attendance of job card holders present in the camp shall be authenticated by GRS/VLW and PO. It will be the duty of the GRS and VLW to have the ward wise group photographs of job card holders along job cards and Aadhar cards. The Indian Government is slowly making submission of Aadhaar Card mandatory for a lot of procedures. The government has also requested everyone to link their Aadhaar number to their bank accounts. This is to make sure that people get the subsidies and benefits of government schemes directly in their bank accounts. One more reason is that it will help the government in identifying people who are in need of the subsidies and welfare payments. The rationale behind making Aadhaar cards mandatory for the MGNREGA is to prevent leakages of subsidies and ensure that the beneficiaries get their due. It will ensure effective implementation of the Aadhaar-linked Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme aimed at checking leakages of welfare funds. Under DBT scheme, all cash benefits are transferred to beneficiary’s bank account. Union Government has asked its departments and State governments to widen scope of DBT to include all monetary transfers.