Around 4.73 lakh people across India this month have got messages on their mobile phones, informing them that central government funds have been credited to their bank accounts.
This small but effective step has ensured some success of the UPA's government's ambitious "game-changer" scheme that aimed at plugging leakages in the delivery of the government welfare measures to poor and deprived sections.
It was for the first time since Independence that the central government transferred funds directly to people, bypassing state government functionaries. The state governments were initially reluctant update the data of beneficiaries on the central government website. "There was an apprehension that fake beneficiaries can be created to beat the technology," a senior government official said.
The UPA government, from January 1, introduced the direct benefit transfer (DBT) for 26 schemes - mostly scholarships and pensions - of seven ministries in 20 districts, using the newly-created unique identification (UID) payment bridge.
President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said, "The DBT will not be a substitute for public services and will be complementary to the Public Distribution System."