Achievements of Direct Benefit Transfer scheme

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    In News 

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lauded India’s Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme as a “logistical marvel” that has reached hundreds of millions of people and specifically benefited women, the elderly and farmers. 

    About Direct Benefit Transfer scheme

    • It  is Government’s major reform initiative to reengineer the existing delivery processes, ensuring better and timely delivery of benefits using Information & Communication Technology (ICT) by transferring benefits into the bank/postal accounts, preferably Aadhaar seeded, of accurately targeted beneficiaries, as well as in-kind transfers from Government to individual beneficiaries. 
    • It was started on 1st January, 2013 .

    Objectives of DBT:

    • Curbing pilferage and duplication
    • Accurate targeting of the beneficiary
    • Reduced delay in payments
    • Electronic transfer of benefits, minimising levels involved in benefit flow

    Benefits of DBT

    • DBT and other governance reforms have led to removal of duplicate/ fake beneficiaries and plugging of leakages etc., as a result of which the government has been able to target the genuine and deserving beneficiaries.
    • DBT will bring efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability in the Government system and infuse confidence of citizens in governance.
    • Use of modern technology and IT tools will help realise the dream of Maximum Governance, Minimum Government. 

    Achievements 

    • India has come a long way primarily on account of the aggressive rollout of the DBT programme
      • This has been made possible by the inclusive financial sector system where the most marginalised sections of society have been uniquely linked to the formal financial network.
    • It evolved the Public Finance Management System and created the Aadhaar Payment Bridge to enable instant money transfers from the government to people’s bank accounts. 
      • The Aadhaar-enabled Payment System and Unified Payment Interface further expanded interoperability and private-sector participation. 
    • The DBT programme has reached commanding heights towards achieving the government’s vision of “sabka vikas”.
    • Rural Areas : In rural Bharat, DBT has allowed the government to provide financial assistance effectively and transparently to farmers with lower transaction costs – be it for fertilisers or any of the other schemes including the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, PM Fasal Bima Yojana, and PM Krishi Sinchayi Yojana — thus becoming the backbone for supporting the growth of the agricultural economy. 
      • The benefits received under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Public Distribution System drive the rural demand-supply chain.
    • Urban India: In urban India, the PM Awas Yojana and LPG Pahal scheme successfully use DBT to transfer funds to eligible beneficiaries. 
      • Various scholarship schemes and the National Social Assistance Programme use the DBT architecture to provide social security.
      •  DBT under rehabilitation programmes such as the Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers opens new frontiers that enable social mobility of all sections of society.
    • Pandemic :  The efficacy and robustness of the DBT network were witnessed during the pandemic. It aided the government to reach the last mile and support the most deprived in bearing the brunt of the lockdown. 
      • From free rations to nearly 80 crore people under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, fund transfers to all women Jan Dhan account holders and support to small vendors under PM-SVANidhi, DBT helped the vulnerable to withstand the shock of the pandemic.
    • Global Recognition : Recently ,the President of the World Bank Group, had also urged other nations to adopt India’s move of targeted cash transfer instead of broad subsidies noting that “India managed to provide food or cash support to a remarkable 85 percent of rural households and 69 per cent of urban households’ 
      • An ambitious vision, holistic approach and a multi-pronged strategy enabled the DBT ecosystem to deliver impact at a phenomenal scale — an accomplishment that has been acknowledged by the IMF and World Bank.

    Future Prospects 

    • The DBT approach is expected to expand further in size and structure as it continues to be the major tool of the government for a more nuanced and targeted intervention towards improving the ease of living.
    • However, digital and financial literacy, robust grievance redressal, enhancing awareness and an empowering innovation system are some of the aspects that would require continued focus. 
    • This would play a vital role for India in meeting the diverse needs of its population and ensuring balanced, equitable and inclusive growth.

    Mains Practice Question 

    [Q] How has the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme transformed social welfare in India?Elaborate