Sivaganga: Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday justified direct cash transfer to beneficiaries of welfare schemes and wondered why some are opposed to the move, which keeps middlemen at bay. "There is nothing wrong in welfare scheme funds going directly to accounts of beneficiaries without middlemen and pilferages," he said.
Speaking after inaugurating Vijaya Bank's 1334th branch in nearby Pattukudipatti he said, the government is determined to extend the scheme, currently being implemented in 51 districts, to more than 700 districts by this year.
"Under the scheme, 100-day employment guarantee programme wages, old age pension and medical insurance will go directly to people's bank accounts." Tamil Nadu government had opposed the scheme, with the Governor in his recent address to the Assembly, saying that schemes like PDS and supply of free laptops being implemented in the state, have multiple social objectives and could not be constituted by a monthly emolument.
Chidambaram pointed out that economic development had taken place in areas were bank loans were extended.
Chidambaram also took a dig at the state government, saying no government function had been held in Sivaganga district for about one and a half years, showing no development schemes were taking place in the area.
"Such functions are held to create awareness about the government's development plans, projects and schemes. But in Sivaganga, government functions have not been held for one and a half years," he said.
He expressed happiness over people availing services of the banks and said, it was their right to demand services and duty of the banks to provide them loans.
He pointed out that economic development had taken place in areas were bank loans were extended. The central government was giving a variety of loans including farm loans, for benefit of the people, he said.