Press Trust of india

Rs 36,659 cr transferred to 16 cr beneficiaries using DBT during COVID-19 lockdown

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New Delhi:  More than Rs 36,659 crore has been transferred to the bank accounts of 16.01 crore beneficiaries using direct benefit transfer (DBT) between March 24 and April 17 during the lockdown, the finance ministry said on Sunday.

The cash amount has been transferred by using Controller General of Accounts’ (CGA) digital payments technology Public Financial Management System (PFMS) under Central Schemes (CS) and Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS). DBT ensures that the cash benefit is directly credited into the account of the beneficiary, eliminates leakage and improves efficiency.

“More than Rs 36,659 crore has been transferred by using Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) through the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) in the bank accounts of 16.01 crore beneficiaries by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) office during COVID-19 lockdown,” the ministry said in a statement.

Of the Rs 36,659 crore, Rs 27,442 crore has been transferred under CSS and CS and Rs 9,717 by various state governments for its welfare schemes.

Between March 24 and April 17, the DBT payments under all the central sector/centrally sponsored schemes through PFMS amounted to Rs 27,442.08 crore in the accounts of 11.42 crore beneficiaries through schemes like PM-KISAN, Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Program (NSAP), Prime Minster’s Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), National Health Mission (NHM), scholarship schemes of various ministries through the National Scholarship Portal (NSP).

Besides, states like UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh have used DBT to transfer cash in the bank accounts. Through 180 welfare schemes, the state governments using PFMS have disbursed to 4.59 crore beneficiaries, an amount of Rs 9,217.22 crore between March 24 and April 17.

Apart from above mentioned schemes, payments were also made under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, Rs 500 was credited in the women account holder of Jan Dhan accounts. Till April 13, the total number of women beneficiaries stood at 19.86 crore, which resulted in disbursement of Rs 9,930 crore.

A total of Rs 17,733 crore has been paid under PM-KISAN to 8.43 crore beneficiaries, while Rs 5,406 crore has been disbursed under MGNREGA to over 1.55 crore bank accounts.

The ministry said PFMS usage for DBT payments increased over last three financial years with total amount disbursed through DBT increasing from 22 per cent in 2018-19 to 45 per cent in 2019-20.

With effect from April 1, 2015, the finance ministry had made it mandatory to use PFMS for payment, accounting and reporting under DBT and directed all implementing ministries or departments to ensure that no payments under DBT schemes were processed unless the electronic payment files for such payments were received through PFMS.

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