Given a massive push by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and three high-level review meetings held in the last as many months, all central government schemes involving transfer of benefits in cash or kind are expected to transition to Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) platform from April. All central government payments will soon be on the electronic platform. Ministries are all geared up after directions were issued last month for the transition of all central schemes to the DBT platform to be achieved by April 1, a government official told ET. Many ministries have already identified such schemes (see box) and fast-tracked their transition since. The scope of DBT now stands enlarged to cover all central sector (CS) schemes and centrally-sponsored cchemes (CSS) across all ministries and departments, he said. Through this platform, the Centre will be able to monitor funds flow and track beneficiaries. It also aims to seed all DBT accounts and 20 crore PM Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) accounts with Aadhaar.
All departments with details of bank accounts and Aadhaar of beneficiaries of their schemes have been asked to give it to department offinancial services for banks to do the seeding rather than wait for a beneficiary to visit the bank branch for it. Cabinet secretary PK Sinha will soon hold a meeting to review the status of all central schemes transitioning to DBT and seeding of 100% DBT accounts with Aadhaar. DBT is currently used for 56 schemes in which roughly Rs 6000 cr is transferred every month to about 30 crore beneficiaries. Ministries were told earlier this year that the concept of DBT is being refined to include not only schemes that involve transfer of benefits in cash but also in kind.
It was also specified at a February 4 meeting chaired by secretary (coordination), cabinet secretariat that as DBT solves the problem of any undisbursed funds being kept parked with states or agencies, fund transfer to “any institution, agency or NGO has to be on the DBT platform”. Ministries were told to examine all their schemes and ensure their transition to DBT by April 1. DBT has been accorded the ‘highest priority’ with Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewing its progress at PRAGATI meetings every month. The other priority for the Modi government, after Aadhaar getting statutory backing, is to soon ensure 100% seeding of DBT beneficiaries with Aadhaar – which stands at 60%.
The seeding in PMJDY was only 42%, 58% in MGNREGS and only 27% in National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) in January. A panel of secretaries headed by cabinet secretary has suggested that instead of waiting for beneficiaries to visit a bank branch to give consent for seeding their accounts with Aadhaar, and if the consent of the beneficiaries for use of Aadhaar has already been obtained, any further consent may not be insisted upon and data provided by government agencies to the bank be used to seed PMJDY accounts. There is also a suggestion to convert all existing MGNREGS and NSAP bank accounts into PMJDY accounts.
Souces:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/all-central-government-schemes-on-track-to-be-linked-to-dbt/articleshow/51624790.cms / Date Mar 31, 2016