Post Factum: DBT Version 2.0
‘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