DBT Regime May Evolve Into A Social Security Platform

The government has drawn up an ambitious plan to scale up the present regime for direct transfer of benefits to the poor under various welfare schemes, by creating a unified national database of beneficiaries that can be updated in real-time and automatically trigger new benefits such as vaccine shots for a newborn baby.

Aim of the programme

  • The blueprint drawn up over the past three months aims to transform the direct benefits transfer (DBT) regime launched in January 2013, into a social security platform linked to the beneficiary database that will have details about the household.

Benefits

  • Once there is the database, and the wherewithal to update it, event-based information from a household can make it possible for departments to activate new benefits from them, such as a vaccine for a baby (once her or his birth is registered), or nutritional support for lactating and expectant mothers.

Issues

  • While the trinity of Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and mobile connectivity, referred to as JAM, would still play a key role, the government believes there are still several operational issues with the three elements that will take time to sort out. For instance, improvement in mobile network coverage and higher enrolments under Aadhaar would take time.

A committee in the Cabinet Secretariat is also working with the Finance Ministry to create a network of 2 million cash points such as kirana stores, chemists and Grameen Dak Sewaks in 6 lakh villages by March 2017, so that getting the cash in hand isn’t an ordeal for rural poor.