The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has pressed for two other big subsidies, food subsidy through the public distribution system (PDS) and fertiliser subsidy, to be brought under the DBT mechanism as well soon, a senior government official told ET on condition of anonymity. “That could take the DBT payout this fiscal beyond Rs 2 lakh crore and even higher next year,” he said.
The government’s estimate is that the total subsidy payout by the Centre in a financial year is around Rs 4 lakh crore.
“When all 450-odd central schemes are brought under DBT by March 31 this year, the entire subsidy will be paid through DBT. This will be a major achievement,” the official said.
So far, 420 central schemes have been tagged to the DBT for paying out subsidies. ET had reported on February 7 that the DBT payout in 2017-18 had crossed Rs 1 lakh crore. In 2016-17, the payout under DBT totalled Rs 74,707 cr under 142 schemes.
“Work on paying out subsidies under PMAYG through DBT was underway for the last four months but it was not Aadhaar-seeded so far, so not included in DBT. About 55 lakh beneficiaries have received Rs 90,000 to Rs 1 lakh directly into their bank accounts using DBT for PMAYG scheme whose total payout this fiscal isRs 48,156 crore. This has ensured that the subsidy reaches genuine beneficiaries,” the official said.
PMAYG aims at providing a pucca house to one crore households by 2018-19 and to all the homeless and those living in kutcha houses by 2022.
The government estimates that bringing food subsidy through PDS under DBT will bring payout of another Rs 90,000 crore under the DBT mechanism while fertiliser subsidy is around Rs 90,000 crore per fiscal. More than 65 crore persons have received DBT payments this fiscal against 35 crore last year and just 10.81 crore in 2013-14. The total DBT payout in 2013-14 was only Rs 7,367 cr under 28 schemes.
Source: Economic Times