Between FY14 (when the DBT scheme was launched) and FY18, close to Rs 3.7 lakh crore had been transferred to the beneficiaries, mostly as cash paid to their bank accounts but also (increasingly) as in-kind benefits.
Transfer of assorted subsidies and sops to the beneficiaries through the direct benefit transfer (DBT) route surged 2.5 times to Rs 1.91 lakh crore in FY18 from the previous year, leading to savings to the government of Rs 984 crore, up 58% year-on-year. Between FY14 (when the DBT scheme was launched) and FY18, close to Rs 3.7 lakh crore had been transferred to the beneficiaries, mostly as cash paid to their bank accounts but also (increasingly) as in-kind benefits.
The government’s total DBT savings since inception of the programme till FY18-end was Rs 90,013 crore. The jump in DBT in FY18 could be largely attributed to increased use of Aadhaar-enabled DBT platforms for in-kind food and fertiliser subsidy distribution. Out of the DBT-enabled gains of Rs 32,984 crore in FY18, removal of fake beneficiaries helped in saving Rs 15,708 crore (48%) in the public distribution system for food, Rs 12,506 crore (38%) under LPG-Pahal scheme and Rs 4,332 crore (13%) under the job guarantee programme (MGNREGS).
The DBT-enabled savings were Rs 20,885 crore in FY17. From the start to the end of last financial year, savings of Rs 42,275 crore was made under LPG-Pahal scheme thanks to DBT, followed by Rs 29,708 crore for PDS-food, Rs 16,073 crore under the job guarantee scheme. According to an estimate by the Centre, the Aadhaar-enabled DBT platform helped eliminate 3.79 crore fake LPG connections, 2.75 crore duplicate ration cards and resulted in 10% savings on wages on account of deletion of non-existent MGNREGS beneficiaries.