In Tamil Nadu, rationalizing the distribution of social schemes based on data

TN aims to have an evidence-based decision support system, a senior official said.

A few weeks ago, some sections of political parties and farmers’ organizations raised eyebrows when the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, in a communication, said that 35.37 lakh of loans against jewelry, out of about 48, 85 lakh of loans, would not be eligible for the Loan Forgiveness Scheme.

As for the Social Security pension schemes that cover the destitute elderly, the disabled, widows and agricultural workers, the authorities found that 8,800 beneficiaries were not alive.

Data Purity Project

Both illustrations are part of the measures taken by the state government as part of the Data Purity Project.

“The aim is to achieve the right targeting of many social assistance schemes, because the government is keen to ensure that only needy and eligible people are covered by social assistance schemes. The project operates on the premise of having a data and evidence-based decision support system,” a senior official said.

With regard to the jewelry loan exemption scheme, the identification of beneficiaries was preceded by a multitude of prescriptions and guidelines issued by the Directorate for Cooperation, Food and Consumer Protection in November.

Similarly, social security pension schemes have been governed by several government decrees. The official said a careful review of data on jewelry borrowers revealed that a number of people had taken out loans under different names despite belonging to the same family or availed of the loans even in different districts. These borrowers were declared ineligible, given the waiver scheme’s main condition of covering every family that had pledged the jewels of up to five sovereigns.

While using the government’s conventional way of working, the authorities through the Data Purity Project are gathering more information about the beneficiaries of the schemes. In September, the Department of Information Technology asked all government departments to share their data with the Tamil Nadu Electronic Governance Agency (TNeGA), whose role would be to process the data and issue instructions. mandatory on data standards to departments.

Observing that the project can generate increased revenue for the treasury, the official points out that a preliminary review of data from different departments, agencies and service providers, such as Greater Chennai Corporation and Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, highlights the fact that in order to use 100 free units every two months, several domestic connections had been taken to a single address. Similarly, properties considered residential for property tax purposes are used for the operation of commercial establishments. This had been done to avoid paying a higher property tax.

The project also aims to prevent government departments and agencies from operating as silos and becoming interoperable entities, the official adds.

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