1. What is ABPS?
Answer: The Aadhaar-based payment system (ABPS) is a mechanism that mandates receiving wages for workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) via an Aadhaar-linked bank account.
2. Why is it being introduced?
Answer: The aim is to streamline wage payments and ensure transparency, reducing the chances of fraud.
3. Who is eligible for ABPS wage payments?
Answer: To be eligible for APBS wage payments, a worker must have a job card, a bank account seeded with an Aadhaar card, and this account must be connected to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) mapper through a process known as ‘mapping’.
4. What are the concerns raised against ABPS?
Answer: Activists and workers have highlighted issues like the failure of Aadhaar-mapping with NPCI, which can result in payment rejections and deletion of workers' job cards.
5. How many workers are currently eligible for ABPS?
Answer: Data indicates that only 57.75% of workers are eligible despite multiple deadline extensions.
6. What are the consequences of not being ABPS-eligible?
Answer: Ineligibility could lead to non-payment of wages, potentially violating the stipulation that workers must be paid within 15 days of completing their jobs.
Pros of ABPS:
Transparency: The system aims to ensure that payments are made directly to intended beneficiaries, reducing chances of middlemen fraud.
Efficiency: With direct transfers, there may be faster payment disbursals.
Accountability: Digital records make it easier to track and audit payments.
Cons of ABPS:
Technical Glitches: Issues with Aadhaar-mapping can result in payment failures.
Deletion of Job Cards: Workers can face the loss of their job cards if there are inconsistencies in mapping.
Exclusion: Workers who are not technologically adept or lack proper documentation might be excluded from receiving payments.
Pressure on Workers: The need to be ABPS-compliant might cause stress and inconvenience to workers unfamiliar with the process.
It's essential for the government to address these concerns and ensure that the transition to ABPS is smooth for MGNREGS workers. Proper communication, awareness campaigns, and grievance redressal mechanisms will be crucial in the successful implementation of this system.