The finance ministry will tap into the data from the socio-economic and caste census to identify beneficiary and expand the direct benefit transfer scheme as part of its plans to build upon the JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile number) trinity.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley and rural development minister Choudhary Birender Singh are expected to release the latest socio-economic and caste census on July 3, following which the chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian is likely to hold informal discussions or policy charcha with finance ministry officials on how to use the data for furthering the direct benefit transfer scheme.
“All cash transfers for schemes have already become a part of the DBT from this fiscal. Using the data from the socio-economic caste census will help us understand what proportion of the population really requires subsidies such as those for food or LPG and how to reach them,” said a senior government official.
The census was launched in 2011 and compiled data till 2013 on rural households on parameters such as sources of income and assets. The data is collected through door to door enumeration of households and is used for targeting of government policies. The Economic Survey 2014 as well as the Union Budget 2015-16 discussed the JAM trinity and its ability to improve transfer of subsidies by cutting down on leakages.
“The JAM Trinity will allow us to transfer benefits in a leakage-proof, well-targetted and cashless manner,” the finance minister had said in the Union Budget.
Meanwhile, pointing out that a large part of the subsidies was used by the relatively well-off, the Survey too had said that the JAM Number Trinity would allow the state to offer this support to poor households in a targeted and less distortive way.