Ruling out early general elections, finance minister P Chidambaram said the government will complete its agenda for 2013-14, including the complete roll-out of direct benefit transfer (DBT) and then go to polls.
The UPA government had announced complete roll-out of the UPA's ambitious DBT scheme aimed at transfer of entitlements directly into bank or post office accounts of beneficiaries by the end of March 2014. As the scheme could result in electoral dividends, the government wants the elections to be held in May 2014.
"There will be no early elections. Elections will take place on time in May 2014," Chidambaram told reporters on Saturday. "All that I said in the last 50 minutes doesn't point to early elections. It points to completing our agenda for 2013-14 and then going to elections in the month of May (2014)."
But, the first complete DBT roll-out could happen for disbursing LPG subsidy across India, a day after a PM-headed panel decided to initiate DBT in LPG in 20 districts by mid-May.
Chidambaram said he would meet oil minister M Veerappa Moily to finalise schedule for rollout of direct transfer of cash subsidy to LPG consumers. "We want to do it as early as possible."
The oil companies have told the government that they have completed seeding of Aadhaar numbers in bank accounts of most of the LPG customers in 43 districts and the remaining would be covered soon.