Cash transfer benefit will be available by Feb-March: Montek
In an interview to Karan Thapar for CNN-IBN programme 'The Last Word', Ahluwalia also dismissed the criticism that the government's ambitious cash transfer scheme would fuel inflation.
He favoured the suggestion that the subsidy meant for families should be transferred into the account of women.
The government proposes to roll-out the Aadhaar-enabled cash transfer for 29 schemes from Jan 1 in 51 districts, spread over 16 states.
It also plans to cover the entire nation by the end of Dec 2013. Later, the cash transfer would cover all the 42 welfare schemes being operated by the government.
"It is not my understanding that on Jan 1 every scholarship in these districts is going to be paid out through Aadhaar. Rather we are starting the roll out process but could take a month or two thereafter," Ahluwalia said.
He further said, "Where the purpose of the transfer is linked to the benefits of a family, be it nutritional benefit, be it family benefit, it would be much better to send it to the mother."
There may be a problem in case there is no female in the family, he said, adding, "by and large, we ought to give to the female head of the family in the household."
On the possibility of cash transfer scheme fuelling inflation, Ahluwalia said, "not at all." Answering questions on FDI in multi-brand retail, he said it would help in modernising the retail to the benefit of farmers and consumers.