Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has written a letter today to the chief ministers of 16 states/union territories in connection with the rollout of Aadhaar enabled payments for various central government schemes.
He said that he had mentioned in his budget speech of 2012-13 that the Aadhaar platform is now ready to support payments under various schemes directly to the beneficiaries' accounts in the selected areas.
The chief ministers to whom the finance minister has written letter include the chief ministers of Kerala, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Delhi, Puducherry, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Mukherjee said that fifty districts have been identified in the aforesaid 16 states/union territories for this purpose based on the extent of Aadhaar enrolments, healthy mix of urban and rural population, percentage of BPL population, per capital income, migration patterns, remittance corridors and status of e-governance rollout etc. chosen throughout the country for initiation of pilots related to certain government schemes.
Mukherjee also asked the chief ministers to further expand the list of districts already chosen in their respective states/union territories for running these pilots.
He mentioned in his letter to the chief ministers that the secretary to government of India, department of expenditure, ministry of finance, has already written to the chief secretary of their respective state/UT seeking the cooperation of the state government for expeditious completion of pilots.
Mukherjee said that pilots are proposed to be run for Public Distribution System, LPG distribution, Kerosene disbursal, government pension schemes, Janani Suraksha Yojana, government scholarships, financial inclusion, Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) and MGNREGS wage disbursal.
He said that this is only an illustrative list and the chief ministers may like to include other schemes in their respective state/union territory for initiation of pilots based on the Aadhaar platform.
Mukherjee further mentioned in his letter that given the huge potential of the Aadhaar initiative to streamline delivery and empowering the common citizen while at the same time curbing the expenditure, it is indeed in our mutual interest to get these pilots going at the earliest.
The finance minister also mentioned that lessons of the pilots would have a huge bearing on the eventual rollout of the scheme in the country. He requested the chief ministers to please ensure that the pilots are rolled out in the selected districts of their state/UT at the earliest.