Agri Business

DBT in fertiliser sales saved govt $1.54 billion: MSC

New Delhi | Updated on October 10, 2019 Published on October 10, 2019

Three out of every four farmers and nearly 60 per cent of fertiliser retailers approached by global consulting firm MicroSave Consulting. Representative image   -  The Hindu

The government saved about $1.54 billion (around ₹10,934 crore) in fertiliser subsidy payout by rolling out direct bank transfer (DBT-F) in fertiliser, apart from improving supply and easing record-keeping, said an independent agency engaged to assess the impact.

Three out of every four farmers and nearly 60 per cent of fertiliser retailers approached by global consulting firm MicroSave Consulting (MSC), commissioned by policy think-tank NITI Aayog, said they preferred DBT-F as it improved transparency, brought efficiency in delivery and reduced instances of overcharging, among other things. The consulting agency also said the government claimed a saving of $1.54 billion because of various fertiliser-related initiatives, including DBT-F.

MSC, which conducted interviews with 11,281 farmers and 1,182 retailers across 54 districts in 18 States over four rounds of evaluation, found that instances of manual sales without Aadhaar and “adjusted” transactions fell from 21 per cent in the third round of evaluation to 13 per cent in the current round. Adjusted transactions are those that retailers often undertake without verifying the farmers’ credentials, only to update their records later.

“DBT-F is one of the fastest implemented DBT programmes in the country. The endeavour works to boost transparency by tracking the movement, requirement, availability, and sale of fertiliser in real-time. Farmers prefer the new system because it has improved the availability of fertiliser and reduced instances of overcharging. The DBT-F platform now allows the government to think about the next set of reforms to promote balanced use of fertiliser and helps it to make the fertiliser distribution process more efficient,” said Mitul Thapliyal, MSC Partner in a statement.

Published on October 10, 2019
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