Close eye on flag­ship schemes as govt gets bat­tle ready for 2019

Financial Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - NIRBHAY KU­MAR

GEAR­ING up for gen­eral elec­tions next year, the Modi gov­ern­ment will ap­point no­dal of­fi­cers in ev­ery nook and cor­ner of the coun­try to mon­i­tor im­ple­men­ta­tion of its seven flag­ship wel­fare schemes.

These of­fi­cers will co­or­di­nate with dis­trict mag­is­trate (DMs) and deputy com­mis­sion­ers (DCs) for en­sur­ing to­tal cov­er­age of its schemes to max­imise the num­ber of ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

Cabi­net sec­re­tary Pradeep Ku­mar Sinha on April 6 wrote to state chief sec­re­taries and ad­min­is­tra­tors of the Union Ter­ri­to­ries (UTs) to name a no­dal of­fi­cer for ev­ery block. Fur­ther, the top boss ex­plained the tasks to no­dal of­fi­cers in a work­shop or­gan­ised in the Cap­i­tal last week.

The Cen­tre has iden­ti­fied thou­sands of vil­lages and pock­ets as the fo­cal area of at­ten­tion. It aims to cover 16,800 vil­lages for child im­mu­ni­sa­tion un­der In­drad­hanush pro­gramme alone.

Such is the im­por­tance of the task that the Cen­tre has started dis­patch­ing of­fi­cers to vil­lages in farflung ar­eas to gather com­pre­hen­sive re­ports from ground zero and en­sure that the pro­grammes are ac­tu­ally trans­lat­ing into re­al­ity and ben­e­fit­ting peo­ple.

The seven cen­tral schemes iden­ti­fied for mon­i­tor­ing and their cov­er­age across the coun­try are Prad­han Mantri Jan Dhan Yo­jana, Ujala scheme, Saub­hagya, Prad­han Mantri Su­rak­sha Bima Yo­jana, Prad­han Mantri Uj­jawala Yo­jana (LPG con­nec­tion for fam­i­lies) and Mis­sion In­drad­hanush (im­mu­ni­sa­tion of chil­dren un­der 2 years and all preg­nant women).

“A spe­cial in­ter­ven­tion drive is be­ing taken to achieve 100 per cent sat­u­ra­tion cov­er­age un­der se­lect gov­ern­ment flag­ship pro­grammes. The of­fi­cers are be­ing de­ployed across dis­tricts and blocks to com­plete this task,” a se­nior of­fi­cial aware of the de­vel­op­ment told FC.

He, how­ever, doubted if the pro­posed mech­a­nism will work and yield de­sired re­sults given the short pe­riod of three weeks as­signed to it. Pub­lic pol­icy vet­er­ans said that the pro­posed mech­a­nism may work in BJP-ruled states but the non-BJP states like West Ben­gal, Andhra Pradesh, Pun­jab and Tamil Nadu may re­sist. One of the of­fi­cials cited the ex­am­ple of stand taken re­cently by West Ben­gal on the uni­ver­sal health in­sur­ance pro­posed by the Cen­tre in the last Union bud­get.

On the link­age of scheme cov­er­age and chances of get­ting more votes, he said that nowa­days it is dif­fi­cult to say. “Now peo­ple con­sider ben­e­fits of var­i­ous gov­ern­ment schemes as their rights. So, not nec­es­sar­ily this will de­ter­mine the vote pat­tern,” he said.

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