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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

BJP and Left parties oppose gov't direct cash transfer scheme

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 28, 2012
First Published: 20:22 IST(28/11/2012) | Last Updated: 20:46 IST(28/11/2012)

Left and BJP on Wednesday said that they will oppose direct cash transfer of subsidy into bank accounts of beneficiaries as it is yet to be validated by the Parliament.

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Speaking at Jan Sansad organised by a group of civil society bodies, CPIM's Brinda Karat and BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said they will expose on the government on its scheme of cash transfer aimed at befooling people in the Parliament.

"Cash transfer is not a game changer. It is game being played with poor people," Javadekar said. "It is an attempt by the government to fool people before elections," he added.

Karat, on the other hand, demanded that the scheme should be stopped until there is a discussion on cash transfer and Unique Identification (UID) project in the Parliament. "The government has introduced the UID project without getting the UID Authority bill passed in the Parliament," she said.

CPIM in a statement said the cash transfer to replace public goods such as food, kerosene and fertilizer is actually to cut subsidies since the cash to be transferred with not cover the increased costs of the same amount of subsidized goods. The party also opposed linking national rural employment guarantee wages to Aadhaar as around biometric identification of 20 % of manual workers change. 

"As far as scholarships, pensions etc are concerned, most of these schemes are already cash transfer schemes through bank accounts and are fiscal neutral. The amounts and also the coverage should be increased and linked to the price index," the party said.

Finance minister P Chidambaram and rural development minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday had described the scheme as game-changer for the government as it would mean transfer of subsidy amount worth Rs. 3,20,000 directly into bank accounts of beneficiaries.

Reetika Kheera of IIT Delhi said the cash transfer has worked in countries like Brazil, where it has been used as incentive to use government services. "In India, cash transfer is being introduced to abdicate the government from its welfare functions," she said.


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