The government has estimated that it has saved around Rs.83,000 crore by incorporating the direct benefit transfer scheme, according to a report by Economic Times. ET quoted a senior official regarding the information about the money saved through this scheme. It is also likely that the ruling government will use this information in its upcoming 2019 election propaganda.
This year’s figure is a significant increase from last year’s estimated savings of over Rs.57,000 crore. According to officials involved in the scheme, this new plan plugged various leaks in the system and saved an additional Rs.25,000 crore in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year. The overall savings for this year is over 45% higher than the savings for last year.
The number of total beneficiaries in the country is said to have increased to 118.3 crore. However, the significant increase in savings has been attributed to the elimination of fake or duplicate beneficiaries in different parts of the country. By plugging the leaks in the welfare schemes, the government was able to transfer the benefits to deserving beneficiaries who depend on these schemes.
The government has removed various accounts from the list of beneficiaries to due to duplication, death, or migration. Over 2.75 crore accounts have been removed from the list of public distribution system (PDS) beneficiaries. In the cooking gas subsidy account, the government has removed the subsidies for over 3.85 crore accounts. The total savings from PDS accounts currently stands at Rs.38,800 crore.
The direct benefit transfer scheme was started by the Indian government on January 1, 2013. Under this scheme, the subsidies received by the Indian population for various schemes were directly transferred to the accounts of the people. By transferring the benefits directly to bank accounts, the government hopes to eliminate duplicate beneficiaries and minimize delays in receiving the benefit.