Subsidies transferred under the Centre’s Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system could hit Rs one lakh crore in the current fiscal, with a massive 50 per cent jump over the money transferred in 2016-17 according to the Joint Secretary of the DBT Mission Peeyush Kumar, reports.
The government, especially Prime Minister Nrendra Modi has often praised the success of the DBT scheme in weeding out middlemen, subsidy leakages and fake beneficiaries by citing the Rs 57,000 crore savings it has resulted in. This might very well become among the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s poll highlights as it seeks reelection in 2019.
In March this year, only 142 government schemes were covered under DBT, a number that has gone up to 399 now. The money transferred under DBT was at Rs 74,000 crore during the last financial year, now standing at Rs 85,000 crore with Kumar anticipating its rise to Rs 1.5 lakh crore by the end of the current financial year.
Beneficiaries of the DBT scheme have gone up from 35 crore to 60 crore, thus bringing almost half the population under the system. A total of 119 crore transactions have been carried out this year, indicating that each beneficiary received a subsidy twice. The two schemes that saw the highest transactions is the LPG Pahal scheme and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Around 460 schemes of which 399 are already covered are being considered to be brought under DBT.
The current focus is to get states to join the DBT scheme. Around 1,700 schemes are currently under DBT at a state level and combined with the central schemes forms one-fourth of the total number subsidy schemes under the DBT programme.