Modi cracks whip, tells ministries to link DBT to Aadhaar by Dec 31

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has drawn strict timelines for the implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for Central ministries and departments which run welfare schemes. The Cabinet secretariat sent a letter to all ministries directing them to create internal DBT cells by June 30, 2016, and to link all DBT disbursal with Aadhaar by December 31.

“Prime Minister has reviewed the progress of DBT and Aadhaar on May 9, 2016, wherein stiff lines for implementation of DBT were laid down. These include — DBT Cell in all Ministries and States by June 30, 2016, all DBT disbursal to be Aadhaar linked by December 31 and all subsidies and welfare schemes to be brought under DBT by March 31, 2017,” SK Srivastva, Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat wrote.

He said that to meet the timelines, each Ministry or department would have to constitute Internal DBT Cells. These Cells may be headed by an officer of joint secretary-rank or above and comprise of IT experts, coordinating with respective programme divisions for the DBT transition.

The government has also decided to institute a live portal under each scheme to capture real-time information about beneficiaries and underlying transactions at the Central Ministry-level.

A number of Ministries like the department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fishing, Ministry of Environment & Forests & Climate Change, Department of Sports, Department of Science & Technology, Department of Agriculture Research & Education and Ministry of Home Affairs have already constituted such cells.

“Now the scope of the DBT has also been expanded to include in-kind transfers as well as transfers made to various enablers of government schemes,” the letter said. Earlier, the government claimed over 1.6 crore bogus ration cards had been deleted due to DBT, yielding savings of Rs 10,000 crore.

It said in 2015-16, over Rs 61,000 crore was distributed to over 30 crore beneficiaries, using DBT. This includes over Rs 25,000 crore in MGNREGS and over Rs 21,000 Crore in PAHAL (for LPG).