Jamshedpur, Jan. 2: After yesterday’s blip, the Seraikela-Kharsawan district administration today managed to push-start the Centre’s direct cash transfer scheme despite continuing network problems, switching to a second-choice mode to deposit amounts in the accounts of 23 beneficiaries of Janani Suraksha Yojana.
Faced with a stern directive from deputy commissioner K.N. Jha to ensure the ambitious scheme linked to Aadhaar-enabled bank accounts rolled out today, district civil surgeon Shiv Shankar held a hurried meeting with Bank of India officials around 12.30pm.
Shankar told The Telegraph that problems with the real time gross settlement (RTGS) mode — under which transfer of money for security takes place from one bank to another in real time — continued this morning and that the lead bank (Bank of India) officials had little clue.
The officials decided to opt for National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and ensure the amounts reached the beneficiaries on the same day, if only an hour late.
NEFT is a nationwide payment system facilitating one-to-one funds transfer. It allows individuals, firms and corporates to electronically transfer funds from any bank branch to their counterparts with accounts in any other branch participating in the scheme.
“The bank’s technical official failed to get RTGS in motion due to a network snag. In the end, we opted for NEFT and transferred amounts to the accounts of 23 beneficiaries,” said Shankar.
According to him, bank officials claimed that till 5.30pm all the transferred amounts had reached the beneficiaries.
“We transferred a total of Rs 34,700 to the beneficiaries’ accounts. We chose the beneficiaries broadly based on four criteria — valid account number, UID number, proof of delivery in a hospital and details uploaded in Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS).”
MCTS, an e-governance initiative of the health ministry, is designed to collate information of pregnant women and infants to ensure maternal and child health services from conception till 42 days after delivery in case of pregnant women and up to five years of age for children.
“We plan to continue with the NEFT mode for at least 15 days and dole out direct cash transfers to 129 Janani Suraksha Yojana beneficiaries. There are 30,976 Janani Suraksha Yojana beneficiaries in the district, of which only 15,865 are registered, 12,145 have MCTS entries and 155 have UID number,” said the civil surgeon.
The allotment of funds for direct cash transfer for other schemes have not reached the district so far.