Post Fac­tum: DBT Ver­sion 2.0

The Economic Times - - Saturday Feature -

‘Ac­tive’ sta­tus means a min­i­mum of one trans­ac­tion ev­ery three days.

“That is just not enough. Ac­tu­ally, the num­ber of bank mi­tras do­ing 25-30 trans­ac­tions daily is half of the ac­tive num­ber,” a se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial con­ceded.

Sur­pris­ingly, it is not that a bank mi­tra is paid less. “One gets paid ₹ 2,500-5,000 per month as re­tain­er­ship plus a per­cent­age of each trans­ac­tion. Many bank mi­tras earn even ₹ 30,000 per month,” an of­fi­cial told ET.

The new strat­egy, top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials told ET, is to in­volve post of­fices and post­men in the ex­er­cise.

“The over­all aim is to have at least twothree al­ter­na­tive sys­tems in ev­ery vil­lage for pay­ment of DBT – apart from bank mi­tras, cil­i­tate bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion through the hand-held de­vices that will be used to dis­burse pay­ments at the doorstep.

That’s where the rub lies – Aad­haar seed­ing re­quires a ma­jor push. Only about 42% of the 20 crore Prad­han Mantri Jan Dhan ac­counts are linked to Aad­haar and in the case of ben­e­fi­cia­ries of jobs of­fered un­der the Mahatma Gandhi Na­tional Ru­ral Em­ploy­ment Guar­an­tee Act, it is 58%.

The job guar­an­tee pro­gramme is the tough­est hur­dle as it is the big­gest DBT scheme un­der which ₹ 3,265 crore is dis­bursed ev­ery month and all the re­cip­i­ents live in ru­ral ar­eas. Cur­rently, ru­ral job wages to the tune of ₹ 2,504 crore are made through elec­tronic fund trans­fers with­out the use of Aad­haar. “The low seed­ing of Aad­haar in the DBT ben­e­fi­ciary data­base (52.5%), lower amount of money trans­ferred through the Aad­haar­based pay­ment sys­tem (27.81%) and last-mile con­nec­tiv­ity are the main hur­dles in tak­ing for­ward DBT,” ac­cord­ing to the min­utes of the com­mit­tee of sec­re­taries meet­ing in De­cem­ber.

Aad­haar cov­er­age crossed the 100 crore peo­ple mark in April and is now at 93% of all peo­ple aged 18 and above. About 25.48 crore bank ac­counts are now linked with the unique iden­tity num­ber.

“With the Aad­haar bill now be­ing passed, the stress is on the seed­ing of the bank ac­counts with Aad­haar. This is now be­ing done on cam­paign mode by de­part­ments,” an of­fi­cial said.

Another DBT strat­egy be­ing im­ple­mented is the dis­tri­bu­tion of food sub­sidy from the coun­try’s 5.45 lakh fair price shops by au­tomat­ing them – a tar­get of 3 lakh has been set for March 2017.

“At present, only 75,000 fair price shops are au­to­mated. Once this au­to­ma­tion is done, food sub­sidy can be given from fair price shops,” an of­fi­cial said. “We are also look­ing at ex­plor­ing the re­cently RBI-no­ti­fied 11 pay­ment banks like Air­tel Money and Paytm, which can of­fer DBT ser­vices through mo­bile banking and e-wal­lets and have their own banking cor­re­spon­dents to de­liver DBT,” the of­fi­cial added.

DBT 2.0 is on its way. pan­chayat-level map­ping of ex­ist­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices to en­sure DBT pay­ments go the last-mile to the doorstep

post of­fices in In­dia, 1.38 lakh of which are in ru­ral ar­eas, to be used for DBT pay­ments. All to be con­nected with core banking so­lu­tion by March 2017.

gramin dak se­waks (post­men) with post of­fices to be used to de­liver DBT pay­ments door-to-door with Aad­haar-au­then­ti­ca­tion en­abled ma­chines.

fair price shops to be au­to­mated to de­liver DBT in food – tar­get for 2016-17 is au­tomat­ing 3 lakh shops through bio­met­ric Aad­haar au­then­ti­ca­tion

Aim is to have al­ter­na­tive sys­tems in ev­ery vil­lage of In­dia for DBT pay­ments

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