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By   /  January 10, 2019  /  Comments Off on Do Your Homework

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Certain documents required to avail government welfare schemes and subsidies

The talk about the delay in the disbursement of grant-in-aid to village development boards (VDBs) in Nagaland is gaining momentum. VDB associations from a number of districts are refuting the Rural Development department’s claim that funding for Peren and Dimapur district blocks and some in Mon had been cleared, while some blocks are yet to complete required formalities. The war of words continues as the VDB associations state that they have not received the scheme. They have demanded immediate disbursement of said fund. The RD department on the other hand argues that the blocks have to fulfil certain procedures and formalities to avail the fund; and that the district planning and development board was responsible for implementation. The director of the department has said that the ministry of Rural Development had made it clear that all job card holders need to have bank accounts to avail the scheme, which the state is far behind in meeting the criteria. He claimed that 32 of the total 74 blocks do not have banking facilities and even those that have are mostly located in the district headquarters making it difficult for villagers to open bank accounts.

The claims, counterclaims and counterattack between the VDB and the RD department have turned, what was supposed to be a fruitful and productive discourse about implementing the funds well, into mayhem. In the meantime, it also has exposed another problem that can haunt government officials and the public even in the future: Lack of certain documents like Aadhaar, which is necessary to availing government schemes.

No government department should put welfare schemes on hold. It is nothing but corruption and injustice. The people also should do their homework to avoid unnecessary hurdles in availing schemes. The central government has made it clear that one should have Aadhaar to avail government welfare schemes and subsidies. It still stands despite the Supreme Court’s ruling the previous year against the mandatory use of Aadhaar for welfare programmes. The government has also launched the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme to plug leakage, bogus accounts and other anomalies.

This means subsidy and welfare schemes will be transferred directly into bank accounts of beneficiaries, not through district administrations. The public distribution system has already been brought into the DBT in most states while also the MGNREGS has been put under this scheme in 24 states and a union territory. So, the message is very simple: Keep Aadhaar card ready and open a bank account if you want to avail various government welfare schemes.

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