India’s 100 backward districts will be among the first to get Unique Identification (UID) numbers with the government deciding to open UID enabled bank accounts for workers enrolled under Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) there.
“The UID architecture is almost ready for MGNREGA,” Mihir Shah, in-charge rural development in the planning commission told HT on Monday.
One of the aims of this was to ensure that NREGA workers can transact money themselves from their accounts at their doorstep by using UID and the public sector banks. The mechanism for implementing the idea has been finalised and would be implemented by the year-end in 100 districts where demand for work is maximum.
In the first step, UID Authority appointed enrolment agencies who would provide unique number to NREGA workers in these districts, after which their accounts will be opened in public sector banks.
Then the banks will appoint banking correspondents, having UID number, to visit villages. “For each transaction, the biometric impression of both the worker and correspondent will be taken in a hand-held machine. If impressions match, the National Payment Organisation within seconds will allow the transaction,” Shah said.
The system is being tested and is said to have worked fine. The additional facility being provided is about informing the workers when their wages get deposited either through SMS or the banking correspondent.
Each district will also get a NREGA Lokayuta to investigate complaints of irregularities.