In a big push to the game-changer direct benefit transfer scheme, the UPA government is set to transfer subsidy for cooking gas to 14 crore consumers in your banks accounts seeded with unique identification or Aadhaar number from October this year.
Senior UPA government functionaries told district collectors from 121 districts on Monday that there was a great level of “satisfaction” over roll-out of LPG subsidy through Aadhaar based payment platform and would aim to cover the entire country from October.
A consumer is expected to get subsidy of Rs 4,000 every year with the government imposing a cap of 9 subsidised cylinders in a year. The consumers will have to buy the LPG cylinder at the market rate of around Rs 900 (in Delhi) and the subsidy will be transferred directly into an Aadhaar linked bank account.
Although LPG would be first to seen nation-wide DBT roll-out, the government pushed the district collectors to improve coverage of beneficiaries under the 25 schemes on Aadhaar based direct transfer module.
Only around 67,000 people of the 16 lakh beneficiaries under these schemes in 43 pilot districts have both Aadhaar number and bank accounts, must for implementing DBT. The government had introduced DBT in 20 districts from January 1, which was expanded to 43 by March. The Planning Commission, which is nodal office for implementing the scheme, recently told Prime Minister’s Office that slow digitization of beneficiary data was one of the reason for DBT hiccups.
Admitting of problems in DBT, planning commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia told HT a special effort is required to take the scheme ahead. He, however, said that it was as of now moving in the right direction considering India’s huge diversity and ground level problems.
The commission has told the collectors that all new beneficiaries under the scholarship and pension schemes should be on the DBT mode. To start with, the districts collectors have been asked to target students who enroll fresh in 121 districts that would come under ambit of DBT from July 1.
Another area of concern for the commission was no information on how much money the state governments was spending on similar schemes like scholarships and pensions and there was no data to check whether same person was receiving benefit from two programmes.
The commission also admitted that to avoid audit objections the ministries have devised schemes in such a way that it was difficult to find out whether the beneficiaries were actually receiving money or not. Concern was also raised over the poor spread of banking correspondents, who are required to disburse the DBT entitlements at the doorstep of beneficiaries.
Aadhaar letters dispatched: 24 crore