Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - METRO -

Sinha asked the states to com­plete the ver­i­fi­ca­tion ex­er­cise “with­out any fur­ther de­lay.” He also un­der­lined that to ad­dress the po­ten­tial fail­ure of Aad­haar­based au­then­ti­ca­tion, “al­ter­na­tive meth­ods for iden­ti­fy­ing such per­sons shall be adopted af­ter find­ing the causes of fail­ure.”

Econ­o­mist Ri­tika Khera said the use of Aad­haar in NSAP was a “ter­ri­ble idea” that may lead to ex­clu­sion and other prob­lems for the ben­e­fi­cia­ries. “In an Aad­haar-based sys­tem, no one else can with­draw money in a re­cip­i­ent’s ac­count. And the rate of bio­met­ric fail­ures is very high among old peo­ple. There is zero added value in Aad­haar,” she said.

Khera em­pha­sised that some states send money via the age-old post of­fice money or­der sys­tem or hand it over at monthly pan­chayat meet­ings. “When you are deal­ing with old, frag­ile peo­ple with mo­bil­ity is­sues, then some­times tech­nol­ogy can’t give the best results. Some states are do­ing very well in tra­di­tional meth­ods of money trans­fers in NSAP. What we need is creat­ing aware­ness about their en­ti­tle­ments,” she said.

Sinha, how­ever, main­tained that the govern­ment has the means to hand over money to poor, dis­abled peo­ple at their bed­side.

He said meet­ings had been held with the Re­serve Bank of In­dia and the Union fi­nance min­istry so that women self-help groups can be ap­pointed as bank­ing cor­re­spon­dents to de­liver money to ben­e­fi­cia­ries in their vil­lages.

“The big­gest chal­lenge for any fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion is last-mile con­nec­tiv­ity. In places where banks are not avail­able al­ready 3,000 SHG women have been trained to be bank cor­re­spon­dence. An­other 2,500 SHGS will be added soon. By end of this fi­nan­cial year, there would be 15,000 to 20,000 women groups work­ing as bank­ing cor­re­spon­dence and earn­ing ₹8,000 to 10,000 per month,” said Sinha.

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