Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti opposed to cash transfer scheme - The Times of India
By Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN Dec 5, 2012, 11.54 AM IST
NAGPUR: 5th December2012
The proposed direct cash transfer scheme of subsidy to beneficiaries will adversely affect 10 million tribals and poor people Vidarbha, said Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJS), warning that if the scheme is implemented in Vidarbha, it will also cause massive deforestation.
Tiwari has urged the Centre to suspend the scheme till its implications are not considered and legal status coupled with constitutional validity ofAadhar cards is not approved by Parliament.
The UPA government is planning to give cash to buy food from the market to beneficiaries of Annapurna andAnotyadaya schemes. However, Tiwari warned of food security problem for tribals and other families covered under BPL category.
"Moreover, reducing kerosene quota drastically will lead to large-scale felling of forests. The scheme has not worked well for 25,000 households in Kotkasim, a block in Rajasthan's Alwar district bordering Haryana," said Tiwari.
Our experience has been that beneficiaries will not be able to access the accounts in which the government transfers the money. "Wages under MGNREGA and pension to old widows does not reach them. So what is the guarantee that cash transferred to beneficiary accounts will be utilized for the same purpose," asked Tiwari.
The VJS leader fears this is an attempt to end public distribution system (PDS) to benefit multinationals. The plans to extend cash transfer scheme to food and cooking gas subsidies will also hurt the poor, who should not be left at the mercy of market forces.
The year-old pilot programme on cash transfer in Kotkasim has failed miserably. Most residents complain they did not receive money for one year or at the best got one of the four instalments.
Tiwari said there is a constitutional question mark over validity of much-hyped Aadhar cards too. It cannot be the sole proof for the government scheme for direct transfer of cash to a poor person's account, as banks are not ready to accept Aadhar cards as ID proof, he said.