No plan to replace ration with cash transfer under ICDS

The government is considering ways to improve the system and to make it more transparent.

GN Bureau | March 9, 2017


#MGNREGS   #ration   #cash transfer   #Aadhaar   #ICDS  


 Calling reports on cash transfer and Aadhar card requirements under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) factually incorrect, the ministry of women and child development has said that there is no plan at present to substitute this with cash transfer. 

It was reported that for children aged up to six years, the government has decided to replace the provision of dry ration under ICDS with cash transfers.
 
 
 “There have also been complaints about the quality of Take Home Rations (THR). Therefore, the government is considering ways to improve the system and to make it more transparent. It is also exploring the possibility of conditional cash transfer in lieu of THR in select districts as a pilot as one of the options. However, a final decision is yet to be taken in this regard,” said a PIB press statement.
 
 
Under ICDS, supplementary nutrition is provided in the form of THR to children 6-36 months’ age group (including malnourished children) and pregnant women and lactating mothers. But for children between 3-6 years age group, hot cooked meal is provided at the anganwadi centres. The hot cooked meals will continue for the age group of three to six years.
 
 
Anand Shrivas, member of an NGO Adivasi Adhikar Manch, Satna Madhya Pradesh, working extensively in nutrition and health sector, says, “Giving cash in lieu of supplementary ration is not a good move. The supplementary packets at least had nutrients required by a growing child or a pregnant/lactating mother. Children and mothers consumed supplementary ration given to them because they are able to afford only one course meal at home. If cash is provided,there is no surety of whether that amount will be used to buy healthy food or not.”
 
The government recently issued orders to use Aadhaar in several welfare schemes considering the effectiveness of Aadhaar in curbing leakages and bringing transparency in delivery system. “While these orders require beneficiaries of these programs to give their Aadhaar number, it has also been ensured that no one is deprived of the benefits for want of Aadhaar. It has been made incumbent on the departments under Regulation 12 of Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations 2016 to provide Aadhaar enrolment facilities to their beneficiaries so that no one is deprived of the benefits for lack of Aadhaar,” said the statement.
 
For children upto the age of six years, birth certificate or any of the specified documents such as production of request for enrolment under Aadhaar, bank pass book, voter ID card, ration card, kisan photo pass book, PAN card, MGNREGS job card, etc. can be produced as proof of relationship of child with the parent/legal guardian, etc. 
 
Under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, the Anganwadis have been asked to collect the Aadhaar number of the children beneficiaries and in case a child does not have Aadhaar, the ICDS functionary will be required to provide enrolment facilities to her and till Aadhaar number is assigned to her, the benefits will be continued to be given to her. 
 
In a large number of cases filed by different parties including the government of Maharashtra before the  Supreme Court, March 3, 2017, the attorney general stated that the policy of the government would be covered in the affidavit for which he has sought time.
 

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