New Delhi: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Friday held discussions with district chiefs of the party on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's "gamechanger" direct cash transfer scheme. According to Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, the Gandhi scion told them that the intention of the scheme was to bring down corruption.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, the Rural Development Minister said, "We always try to bring consensus for launching any flagship programme...today Rahul Gandhi held discussions on direct cash transfers with district Congress chiefs."
Referring to the slogan of the scheme, 'Aapka Paisa Aapke Haath', Ramesh said, "Rahul said 'Aapka Paisa Aapke Haath' is a political slogan and will be developed before 2014 elections."
The government is set to launch the first phase of direct cash transfer scheme from January 1 in select districts across the country. Rahul on Friday addressed party presidents of 51 districts where the scheme would be launched, asking them to make their best efforts and ensure its success.
He also told them how the scheme would directly benefit people concerned by eliminating middle men and shortening the process of cash subsidies.
"Rahul Gandhi told them that this scheme will ensure that money reaches directly to its beneficiaries. Earlier money was given through banks and post offices, but now with the help of business correspondents, this money will reach directly to people," Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.
The district chiefs were also instructed to provide their assistance in getting the Aadhar card prepared for those who would get benefits of the scheme.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, Congress General Secretary Janardan Diwedi and Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad were also present during the meeting.
Ahmed also hoped that the scheme would prove to be a "gamechanger" for the Congress party, many of whose projects have been hijacked by various state governments. "We do hope that it is going to be gamechanger and we are trying to give as much facilities to the people to uplift their standard of living," he said.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)