Signalling its intention to pick up the pieces on the Congress-led UPA government’s ambitious Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme, and of taking it forward as well as expanding its coverage, the government is holding a key meeting to review the current status of the scheme on Monday.
According to sources in ministries whose schemes are linked to DBT, the meeting that has been convened by the Finance Ministry seeks to review the status and implementation of DBT and schemes under it in the 121 districts where the previous government had introduced it. This follows a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 6 where he reviewed the progress in Aadhaar.
The meeting, to be chaired by Secretary, Expenditure, will be attended by representatives of other concerned ministries, including Rural Development, Human Resource Development, Minority Affairs, Tribal Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas, among others. DBT was rolled out in over 25 schemes in 2013.
The sources say after giving a definite push to Aadhaar and drawing up a roadmap wherein a 100 crore enrolment target by 2015 has been set, the government is now keen to work on DBT, after assessing the current statues. The Modi-led government, sources say, is considering expanding the scheme’s rollout from 121 to 300 districts.
In July, the PMO had directed the Planning Commission to gather information about Aadhaar with respect to five key government schemes — MGNREGA, pensions, scholarships, Public Distribution System and LPG in 300 priority districts. The 300 priority districts are those where Aadhaar enrolment is currently 60-70 per cent or more.
It is in these 300 districts the government plans to expand the coverage of DBT.
The DBT scheme, launched by the UPA with much ado, had failed to take off owing to gaps in implementation and inadequate monitoring.