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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Go out in field, PMO tells babus

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 15, 2012
First Published: 00:46 IST(15/12/2012) | Last Updated: 01:55 IST(15/12/2012)

Concerned that the infrastructure to successfully kick-off the direct cash transfer in 43 districts on January 1 was not in place, the Prime Minister's Office has directed top officials to take the necessary steps on a "war footing".

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Work on another 8 districts in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat will begin only on December 20 after the election process in the two states is completed, raising the total number of districts in the first phase to 51.

The PMO also told secretaries heading various departments implementing it to move from the comforts of their offices for a quick field tour.

"Secretaries of ministries implementing it may consider visits to a neighbouring district to familiarise themselves with ground realities and the processes that will be needed for rollout to be effective," a PMO statement said.

Two meetings this week with chief secretaries and district collectors had brought out problems of low Aadhaar penetration in 43 districts, lack of financial resources with states for digitisation of beneficiary records and delays in seeding Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts details of beneficiaries.

The PMO identified the activities that need to be completed to address such issues.

At the field level, the ministries will have to digitise databases, complete enrollment for Aadhaar by all beneficiaries, ensure bank accounts and linking them to the Aadhaar numbers will be the primary activity in the coming few weeks.

"This has to be addressed on a war footing. The best approach may be a Camp approach," the PMO statement said.

The PMO further said banks would also be authorised to be registrars for Aadhaar numbers and will be enabled to enroll beneficiaries for Aadhaar.

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