Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme

Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme

To directly transfer benefits to the underprivileged population covered by 34 central schemes, the Government of India launched the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Program on January 1, 2013.

The DBT program aims to eliminate any irregularities from the current system, such as diversions and duplicate payments, by making payments directly into the Aadhaar-linked bank accounts of the end beneficiaries.

This Direct Benefit Transfer program's main goal is to bring transparency to the distribution of funds supported by the Indian Central Government and put an end to theft. Benefits of subsidies will be given directly to citizens who are below the poverty line under DBT. 

Those who do not qualify for a subsidy will not receive one. 

DBT will be routed using the Central Plan Scheme Monitoring System (CPSMS), which is being implemented by the Office of the Controller General of Accounts. The Aadhaar Payment Bridge of NPCI and CPSMS can be used to prepare beneficiary lists, digitally sign them, and process payments into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. On the CPSMS website, you can find all pertinent orders related to the DBT.

DBT-related programs

The primary central programs covered by DBT are:

  • National Child Labour Project
  • Student Scholarships
  • LPG subsidy
  • Dhanlakshmi Scheme
  • Janani Surakhsha Yojna

What advantages does DBT Offer?

  • Increased the Coverage of Services: Using a mission-mode strategy, it attempted to open bank accounts for every household, expand Aadhaar to everyone, and increase the coverage of telecom and banking services. 
  • Instant and Simple Money Transfer: To enable instant money transfers from the government to citizens' bank accounts, it created the Aadhaar Payment Bridge.
    • In addition to enabling easy money transfers, this method allowed all rural and urban households to be uniquely connected under various government programs for receiving subsidies directly into their bank accounts.
  • Financial Assistance: DBT has made it possible for the government to offer farmers in rural Bharat more efficient, transparent financial assistance with lower transaction costs, whether it be for fertilizer or any other program.
  • Transfer of Funds and Social Security: The PM Awas Yojana and LPG Pahal scheme both use DBT successfully to transfer funds to eligible beneficiaries in urban India. The DBT architecture is used to provide social security through various scholarship programs and the National Social Assistance Program.
  • A Door to New Opportunities: DBT opens up new horizons that support social mobility for all societal segments when used in conjunction with rehabilitation programs like the Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS).

What problems arise With DBT?

  • Lack of Accessibility: Citizens trying to enrol frequently encounter problems such as difficulty reaching enrollment locations, difficulty contacting officials or operators who handle enrollment, and inconsistent or nonexistent availability. 
  • Lack of Facilities: There are still many tribal and rural areas without access to roads or banking facilities. Financial literacy is also required because it would raise people's awareness.
  • Uncertainties: Delays in approving and moving forward with applications. The necessary documentation is hard to find, and it contains errors and problems.
  • Disruption in the Process: One of the most significant problems for DBT recipients receiving money in their bank accounts is schedule disruptions.
    • Spelling mistakes in Aadhaar details, pending KYC, frozen or inactive bank accounts, a discrepancy between Aadhaar and bank account details, etc. could all be causes of disruptions.
  • Lack of Beneficiaries: Many Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) programs, such as the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan), the Rythu Bandhu program of the Telangana government, and the YSR Rythu Bharosa program of the Andhra Pradesh government, do not reach tenant farmers, or those who cultivate on leased land.

Way Forward

Overall, DBT is very useful, but it has many drawbacks, so there is a need for empowerment of innovation and a common body for redress. 

  • Empowering innovation systems is one of the elements that need continued attention as we work to systematize innovation.
    • In order to meet the diverse needs of its population and promote balanced, equitable, and inclusive growth, this would be extremely important for India.
  • Accessibility: It is urgent to improve citizens' ability to enrol in various programs, especially in rural and peri-urban areas.
  • A Common Body for All: To assist beneficiaries in resolving their problems, all DBT schemes across all tiers—State, district, and block—have a common grievance redress cell.
  • With the aid of leasing, both tenant and reverse-tenant farmers can manage condensed holdings, and owners are free to pursue non-agricultural careers without worrying about losing their properties.

Reforming the government delivery system through the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme is a progressive step, but it has limitations too. Comment. (Answer in 150 words) 10 mark

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