Poor Aadhaar linkage in 300 districts for 5 DBT schemes

Of 42 crore beneficiaries in these districts, only 10 crore names have been seeded or linked with Aadhaar

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Pratap Vikram Singh | September 10, 2014



Only one-fourth of beneficiaries’ database has been seeded by Aadhaar under five social sector schemes in half the country, according to a senior official working with unique identification authority of India (UIDAI).

The authority, along with the planning commission, reviewed status of direct benefit transfer (DBT) preparedness in 300 districts and recently submitted its report to the prime minister.

Of 42 crore beneficiaries in these districts, only 10 crore names have been seeded (or linked) with Aadhaar, AP Singh, deputy director general, UIDAI, said. The schemes include LPG, MNREGS, scholarship, pensions and PDS. On average, the Aadhaar coverage was over 70 percent, and it ranged from 55 percent to 125 percent in these districts, he said.

The government is set to finalise a roadmap for rolling out the DBT for 27 schemes and DBT-L (or direct benefit transfer of LPG subsidy). The department of expenditure’s secretary will chair a meeting of all stakeholders to finalise a roadmap on the DBT rollout on Thursday.

The ministry of petroleum has circulated the report of the Prof SG Dhande committee on review of DBT-L and sought suggestions. The departments of finance and expenditure are among a group of government agencies that will give their comments on the Dhande committee’s report.

The committee had noted that transfer of fuel subsidy based on Aadhaar was a good idea with substandard implementation. It had suggested various steps to streamline the implementation.

The petroleum ministry had already rolled out DBT-L in 289 districts. In the coming days it is expected to resume the scheme after incorporating views of the ministries concerned. By the time it was scrapped by the UPA government, the ministry had transferred Rs 5,400 crore subsidy to over 2.8 crore beneficiaries.

Started in January 2013, DBT (and not DBT-L) covered 121 districts (across 26 states and UTs) and an amount of Rs2400 crore was transferred to 94 lakh beneficiaries till its scrapping. The 27 schemes primarily include scholarships (17), pensions (3), motherhood (2), and child development.
Since Aadhaar is not mandatory for transfer of cash benefits under DBT, only 18-20 percent of the transactions were based on Aadhaar-enabled payment system, a senior with the department of expenditure said. Of the total beneficiaries, only 20 percent had a bank account, the official said.

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