Pimpri: In order to prevent malpractices in the distribution of cycles and other items, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has decided to adopt direct benefit transfer scheme for its beneficiaries. As per new provisions, the PCMC will transfer the cost of the bicycle or Rs 4,000, whichever is less in the bank account of the beneficiaries. For availing this scheme the beneficiaries will have to submit a receipt of the purchase of the bicycle.
As per the recent diktat of State government, the PCMC will have to stop purchase of sewing machines, bicycles and other goods from the market for beneficiaries. To avoid corruption, the State government in December decided to stop distribution of goods to beneficiaries and instead all government subsidies would be released through direct benefit transfer scheme in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
The PCMC Women and Child Welfare Department and School Board purchase goods are distributed to children and women under welfare schemes. These include bicycles, sewing machines, shoes, school bags, uniforms, sweaters and raincoats. There were incidents when these goods were given to bogus beneficiaries and there were allegations of purchase of inferior quality material at higher cost than market rates.
There was a popular scheme for the distribution of sewing machines to women in lower income groups. A vigilance committee was appointed following allegations of purchase of 13,500 sewing machines by Urban Community Development Department at inflated prices in 2016. At that time the PCMC decided to stop further purchases and focus on distribution of machines to beneficiaries on the waiting list.
Similarly, the PCMC purchased 6,633 bicycles in the year 2012-13 and 14-15. But 1,464 bicycles were left in the PCMC godown in Nehru Nagar because there were no takers. Social Welfare Officer of PCMC Sambhaji Aiwale said, “Due to State government’s diktat the purchase of material has stopped completely. The distribution of cycles and sewing machines will stop henceforth. After pending distribution of cycles gets over PCMC will adopt practice of direct benefit transfer to beneficiaries.”