PM chairs meeting on Direct Benefits Transfer system

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired the meeting of the National Committe on Direct Benefits Transfer on Friday as the meeting reviewed the rollout of the Aadhaar system so far.

The meeting discussed the approaches and strategies being adopted for expansion of the system into new districts and schemes.

The Direct Benefits transfer system was rolled out from 1st Jan, 2013 in a phased manner in 43 districts and 26 schemes.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Direct Benefits Transfer programme will be expanded to 78 more districts and will now also include three pension schemes of Rural Development.

With this, the DBT programme will now cover over 120 districts which is roughly one-fifth of the country.

New Delhi, April 5:More districts from Kerala, Punjab, Delhi, MP, Rajasthan, AP, Maharashtra, Jharkhand will now be covered from July 2013.

Chairing a review meeting of the National committee on Directs Benefits Transfers programme today , the Prime Minister said that he was encouraged by the progress of the DBT programme and very much hopeful about the future.

Acknowledging the difficulties and challenges faced initially during the implementation of the programme , he emphasised that better integration between the implementing agencies and robust monitoring system must be put in place to ensure that the money spent delivers the intended outcomes.

Emphasising on the importance of the programme, he said that the government cannot afford to fail on this front as the Direct Benfits transfer Programme has the potential of transforming the way in which government benefits are delivered to our people.

"There should be a system in place where people can get a simple bank account on demand if they have an Aadhaar card. Such a spread of financial inclusion will have many other benefits, far beyond cash transfers alone. For bankers, this is an investment in their bank's own future growth," Singh added.

Dr. Singh said this is a program in which the implementation capacity of the government will be tested.

"We cannot afford to fail. We need to show that we can deliver results and benefits. I wish you all success in your endeavours to implement this ambitious programme," he added.

In his remarks at the meeting of National Committee on Direct Benefits Transfer, Dr. Singh said 'we have had a productive meeting on an initiative which has the potential of transforming the way in which government benefits are delivered to our people'.

"We have come some distance since Direct Benefits Transfer programme was rolled out in January. In this period, we have resolved a number of operational issues. I am encouraged by this progress and hopeful about the future. But we have also run into difficulties that we had not anticipated when we began the programme. We must therefore renew our efforts for successful implementation of the programme," he added.

Dr. Singh said conceptually, the Direct Benefits Transfers involves a few simple steps- digitising data, enrolling in Aadhaar, opening bank accounts and seeding these accounts.

"However, Direct Benefits Transfers also require process re-engineering. We need to change the way we transact business, the way we release funds, the way we track funds and the information we have on beneficiaries. I hope due attention will be paid to these aspects as we move forward in implementing the programme," said Dr. Singh.

"I have been told that the exercise of implementing Direct Benefits Transfers has revealed the unsatisfactory nature of tracking and monitoring systems we have in various departments. If we need to ensure that the money we spend delivers outcomes, it is necessary that we have a robust monitoring system in place. That is one of the things that Direct Benefits Transfers will achieve, in addition to making the process of getting benefits simpler for the beneficiaries and eliminating corruption and wastage," he added.

The meeting, which was attended by all concerned Ministers including the Finance Minister, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission and UIDAI Chairman, reviewed the rollout of the Aadhaar system so far.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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