4:26 am - Wednesday January 16, 2019

Congress launched direct cash transfer scheme with political motive

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New Delhi: The UPA government launched the direct cash benefit transfer scheme with political motives and without preparation, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in the Rajya Sabha Wednesday, causing an uproar in the house. 

Pradhan was replying to a question on transfer of direct cash benefits for LPG subsidy to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. 

“The UPA government was not prepared before they launched the scheme. The tax regime issues were not addressed, the beneficiaries did not even have Aadhaar cards… There were cases in 15 high courts and also in the Supreme Court,” the minister said. 

“It was a pre-election move, keeping in mind political motives. But it could not be implemented due to lack of preparation,” the minister said, resulting in an uproar from the Congress benches. The cash benefit transfer scheme, in which subsidies are directly transferred to bank accounts of beneficiaries, was launched by the former UPA government in 20 districts in January 2013. 

Satyavrat Chaturvedi of the Congress said as the chair insists that members ask specific questions, the ministers too should give specific replies to specific points raised. 

Chairman Hamid Ansari then intervened, saying the reply was general and not specific to the question asked. 

“Don’t go into wider aspects… We are not discussing that,” Ansari told the minister. 

Pradhan then said that the BJP-led government will continue the scheme and preparations are being made in 629 districts of the country. 

He also said subsidy on 12 LPG cylinders will continue. 

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