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Government transfers Rs 36,659 crore to 16.01 crore beneficiaries amid COVID-19 lockdown

Out of the total amount of Rs 36,659 crore, Rs 27,442.08 crore was transferred to 11.42 crore beneficiaries under the central schemes and centrally sponsored schemes.

Apr 20, 2020 15:11 IST
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The government transferred more than Rs 36,659 crore to the bank accounts of 16.01 crore beneficiaries amid lockdown between March 24 and April 17, 2020. The transfers were made using direct benefit transfer (DBT).

The amount was transferred by the office of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) using the digital payments technology- Public Financial Management System (PFMS). This was announced by the Finance Ministry in a statement. 

Direct Benefit Transfer

The direct benefit transfer (DBT) ensures that the cash amount is directly credited into the accounts of the beneficiaries. This method not only improves efficiency and enables a faster transaction to those in need but it also eliminates leakage. 

Key Highlights 

Out of the total amount of Rs 36,659 crore, Rs 27,442.08 crore was transferred to 11.42 crore beneficiaries under the central schemes and centrally sponsored schemes such as PM-KISAN, National Health Mission (NHM), National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Program (NSAP), Prime Minster's Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) and scholarship schemes of various ministries through the National Scholarship Portal (NSP).

The remaining Rs 9,717.22 crore was transferred to 4.59 crore beneficiaries by various state governments including UP, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir under their 180 welfare schemes. 

Besides this, cash worth Rs 500 each was transferred under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana to the accounts of all Jan Dhan women account holders. A total of Rs 9,930 crore was disbursed under the scheme to a total of 19.86 crore women till April 13, 2020. 

Under PM-Kisan, a total of Rs 17,733 crore was transferred to 8.43 crore beneficiaries and Rs 5,406 crore was transferred into 1.55 crore bank accounts under MGNREGA.

Significance

The usage of the Public Financial Management System for making direct benefit transfers has increased over the past three financial years. The total amount disbursed through the system increased from 22 percent in 2018-19 to 45 percent in 2019-20. 

The Union Finance Ministry had made it mandatory to use the Public Financial Management System for payment, accounting and reporting under the direct benefit transfer with effect from April 1, 2015. 

The Ministry had directed all ministries and their departments to ensure no payments under DBT schemes were processed unless the electronic payment files for such payments were received through PFMS.

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