Mumbai, Jan 1 (IANS) The central government's direct cash transfer of subsidies to bank accounts of beneficiaries will kick-off in six districts of Maharashtra Tuesday, an official said.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will launch the scheme in Mumbai and Mumbai Suburban District while guardian ministers of Pune, Nandurbar, Wardha and Amravati will launch it in their respective districts.
"From today, beneficiaries will start receiving cash benefits under certain schemes. Later, more schemes will be added," an aide to the chief minister told IANS Tuesday.
The six districts of the state are part of the 51 originally selected in 11 states for implementation of the scheme's first phase, with more additions from February. The number has now been scaled down to 20.
Chavan said the beneficiaries would be able to withdraw the cash from their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts through ATM cards.
Aadhaar is a 12-digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India to serve as proofs of identity and address.
"In villages where ATMs are not available, business correspondents will carry a portable micro-ATM machine and disburse cash to beneficiaries," Chavan said in a statement.
IT secretary Rajesh Agarwal said the process to link bank accounts with Aadhaar or opening new Aadhaar-linked bank accounts has already been completed across the state.
Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Monday that cash withdrawals could take place through saving accounts and ATMs.
Banks have floated a tender for 20 lakh micro-ATMs, which would be inter-operable and have facilities for biometric scanning and Aadhaar authentication.
The national committee on direct cash transfers, set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had taken a decision to roll out the scheme from New Year's Day.
Chavan said Maharashtra led the country with over five crore Aadhaar registrations and distribution of over 4.2 crore Aadhaar cards.