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Citizen Income: why 1.5 million families will not receive state aid – Financial Sector – Economy

PorSam Miller

Jul 18, 2023

Despite the fact that the Department of Social Prosperity (DPS) and the Banco Agrario work to evacuate the payments of the Tránsito a Renta Ciudadana program, the problem of the lines of people who go to the state financial entity to claim said aid persists in some of its branches in the country. This weekend 11,000 payments were made in two days, with which the progress of this activity reached 57 percent, directive instructions of the bank.

(Also read: Citizen Income: ‘Yes, there was a disinformation campaign seeking to create chaos’)

But the problem of people flocking to claim this help did not only become evident last week. The balance of the first month of this benefit revealed the difficulties of the state bank to make the payment of this to its 3.3 million beneficiaries.

During the pandemic, the Government made the transfers of subsidies through immediate payment platforms such as Daviplata, Nequi or Movii without any inconvenience. But Today the transfers of the Transit to Citizen Income program are in charge of the Banco Agrario.

(You may also be interested in: Citizen Income: these are the households that will be able to receive the subsidy)

With the Citizen Income program, the Government expects to reach close to 3.3 million extreme poverty, moderate poverty and vulnerability households in 466 municipalities.

with the program Solidarity Income, which operated until December of last year, aid was provided to 4.8 million households under these conditionswith which the new policy has a coverage of 1.5 million families less than the other program.

Although Cielo Rusinque, general director of the DPS, says that this aid is not linked to the previous program, it is an income that works in a similar way, and puts an end to the idea of ​​the previous administration that Solidarity Income, which emerged as a program emergency due to covid, it becomes a permanent income program.

The beneficiaries

Chaos in front of the Agrarian Bank of Cartagena for the payment of state aid from the Citizen Income program.


John Montaño/ EL TIEMPO

As provided by the Government, each beneficiary family of this aid will receive up to 500,000 pesos, will transfer that will be made every two months and will contemplate the retroactive payment of the previous month, so each household will charge up to one million pesos every two months.

The DPS director also stated that in order to apply for this subsidy, the children who are part of the household must be in school and those in early childhood must have medical check-ups. It is also essential to have the Sisbén IV survey.

However, for those families whose payment appears to be suspended because they present some anomaly, they will have an opportunity to correct that inconsistency, because the intention is that this resource reaches who it has to reach, according to the official.

The problem is that the transfer of these resources to more than 3.3 million beneficiaries is now in the hands of Banco Agrario, whose directives indicated that until last Sunday they had already transferred 447,000 million pesos.

(It may interest you: The long lines continue in Barranquilla and Cartagena for the payment of Citizen Income)

«We are working in an orderly, precise and strategic manner with permanent sessions since the previous Monday, when atypical behaviors were evident in some regional offices, with the firm intention of attending to this and all the Bank’s processes that are advancing in complete normality», said Hernando Chica Zuccardi, president of the entity, who said that to address this situation they have had more than 1,400 officials in the field, in charge of guiding and paying users.

For this, they extended the hours in specific offices that require it. Of the 911 offices that Banco Agrario has in the country, 29, that is, 3%, have high citizen traffic, indicated bank directives.

The critics

In the past, the platforms such as Daviplata, Nequi and Movii had a burden from the dispersion of state subsidies as a result of the pandemic.

The choice of the Banco Agrario for the payment of these aids to the most vulnerable, without the process of a tender, as happened in the past Government, has been widely criticized not only for the way in which the entity was chosen (by finger) but also due to the bank’s lack of capacity to attend this program because it does not have the technology to do so.

«Pretending that a single bank can assume the entire operation under conditions of efficiency is to deny the reality of the country and its territory to the detriment of the collection conditions (lines and availability of cash) and leaving aside the important advances in financial inclusion that were coming carrying out the State throughout the years of operation of the monetary transfer programs”, says Susana Correa, former director of Social Prosperity of the government of Iván Duque.

For his part, Francisco Mejía, former president of Banco Agrario, disagreed with the way in which that responsibility was delegated to the entity. “I totally disagree with having returned to the monopoly of Banco Agrario in social payments. By doing it by public invitation, it forced us to compete with the rest and advance technologically. The user could be given a bad service and higher costs because the entity is more efficient in some points such as rurality, but in others, such as, for example, in large cities, it does not have as many offices as Davivienda can have, with whom we would normally compete”.

(You can continue reading: How to avoid long lines to collect the citizen income subsidy?)

In their defense, from the Government they assure that the decision to directly choose Banco Agrario as the only operator of the payments of the Transit to Citizen Income program was the result of an «exhaustive analysis» and that its wide coverage allows it to reach all Corners of the Country.

“Their selection was the result of an exhaustive analysis that evaluated the advantages over the use of the Demand Aggregation Instrument (IAD) for financial services that was being used. All the documentation and justification, including the previous study, is available on the Secop portal,” said Cielo Rusinque, current director of Social Prosperity.

Long lines in the country’s cities to collect the Citizen Income subsidy

More news at eltiempo.com