By the end of the current calendar year all Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) will be linked to Aadhaar. While setting the ambitious target, the Centre has also decided to bring all subsidies and welfare schemes under the DBT net by March 31, 2017.
The DBT programme, a major reform initiative to check leakages of welfare funds, was launched on January 1, 2013 with regard to 24 selected schemes of eight ministries. At present, benefits under 74 schemes of 17 ministries are being reached to the targeted people through DBT. It has also been decided to have a DBT cell in all Central government ministries and State governments.
An ambitious target of ensuring all centrally sponsored welfare and subsidy schemes are brought on DBT by March 2017, has been set, a senior official in Cabinet Secretariat said.
Till date, about Rs 1.2 lakh crore has been disbursed through the DBT platform to nearly 30 crore beneficiaries. Through DBT, all cash benefits are transferred directly to the beneficiary’s bank account. In order to give further fillip to the programme, DBT Mission was last year shifted to Cabinet Secretariat and its implementation is being monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The scope of DBT has been expanded to include cash transfer to individual beneficiaries through (Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labha or Pahal), transfer of LPG subsidy to individual consumers, wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and National Social Assistance Programme.
All ministries have already been requested to examine various programmes and schemes implemented by them or their attached offices, public sector undertakings, autonomous organisations and implementing agencies, the official said.
The government recently asserted that over Rs 21,000 crore was indeed saved in two years by directly transferring subsidy to user bank accounts. The savings from the elimination of fake/duplicate/ghost cooking gas LPG connections as a result of the implementation of DBT in the last two years are estimated at Rs 21,261.4 crore. As many as 3.34 crore duplicate/fake/ghost/inactive domestic LPG connections were identified as a result of an elaborate exercise to identify actual users and link their bank accounts for transfer of subsidy.