Rahul Gandhi’s Youth Congress (YC) has stepped in to plug the loopholes of the UPA’s Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT), an ambitious-yet-hurdles-ridden scheme hailed as a “game-changer’ for the Congress in the 2014 polls.
A team of 18 Youth Congress leaders—mostly presidents of the district level YC units—has been handpicked to act as observers in 43 districts where rollout of the DBT has been announced.
The DBT was launched in 20 districts from January 1. Another 11-12 districts will witness the launch of the Aadhaar-based scheme from February and March respectively.
These observers have been given three key tasks: To ensure at least 80% Aadhaar enrolment, setting up of zero-balance bank accounts for beneficiaries, and reporting back shortage of bio-metric capturing machines—a crucial element for ensuring speedy enrollment of beneficiaries.
“The team was given the final shape last week. Now, they will travel to their respective districts and give direct feedback to Team Rahul Gandhi on the ground-level progress,” said a party functionary.
While low Aadhaar enrollment and lack of bank/post office accounts of beneficiaries have already emerged as major constraints, reports have emerged that an inadequate number of bio-metric machines has also slowed down enrollment.
“Ideally, at least 1,000 beneficiaries should be enrolled everyday. But in places like Amaravati in Maharashtra, hardly 40 people are being enrolled daily,” said a Congress source.
In his recent interaction with the YC leaders, Gandhi promised the party’s full backing for the scheme. He also stated that the scheme has the potential to act as a game-changer not just in the 2014 elections, but also the 2019 polls.