The Union Government has saved around Rs 57,000 crore in 2016-17 through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme under which subsidies are given directly to beneficiaries.
In 2017-18, the beneficiary base rose from 10.71 crore in 2013-14 to 35.62 crore. A total of 485 schemes have been identified from 60 ministries for the DBT.
According to government data, of the Rs 57,029 crore saved under DBT in 2016-17, the LPG subsidy scheme ‘Pahal’ alone accounted for Rs 29,769 crore savings. Besides, about Rs 14,000 crore were saved in providing subsidies directly to beneficiaries under the Public Distribution System (PDS).
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) Scheme saved Rs 11,741 crore. Rs 399 crore were saved in DBT transfers for the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), which deals with old age and widow pensions and among other things.
About Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme
The DBT Scheme, a major reform initiative to check graft in welfare funds was launched by then UPA Government on 1 January 2013. It aims at transferring benefits of various central government-run social welfare schemes directly to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
Its objective is to reform Government delivery system by re-engineering the existing process in welfare schemes for simpler and faster flow of funds/information and ensure accurate targeting of the beneficiaries, reduce duplication and fraud.
DBT functions under the Cabinet Secretariat and its implementation is directly monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). JAM Trinity i.e. Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile are DBT enablers. However, Aadhaar is not mandatory in DBT schemes. DBT scheme has been high priority and focus area of the government to bring efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability in the Government system and infuse confidence of citizen in the governance.