Direct benefit transfer of subsidies in cash and kind crossed the ₹3-lakh crore mark in 2018-19 to 123.8 crore beneficiaries through over 351-crore transactions.

Official data reveals that DBT in both cash and kind amounted to ₹3,06,260 crore last fiscal, a 60 per cent jump from ₹1,90,870.9 crore in 2017-18.

A significant chunk of the increase is due to the launch of DBT in fertiliser where ₹39,230.64 crore was transferred in 2018-19.

Similarly, DBT in cash for PAHAL or cooking gas subsidy was higher at ₹34,604.72 crore while transfer under NREGA also increased to ₹46,181.8 crore. Cash transfers for other schemes such as pensions and health benefits more than doubled to ₹56,895.79 crore, from ₹26,455.82 crore in the previous year.

As many as 440 schemes across 55 ministries have now been on-boarded to the DBT platform. These include cooking gas subsidy or PAHAL scheme, public distribution system, MGNREGA and several scholarship schemes.

Since its inception in 2013-14, ₹6,80,056 crore has been transferred to beneficiaries using DBT.

Savings under the scheme now seem to have more or less stabilised. The official data, available for the period April to February 2018-19, reveals that total savings or “gains” amounted to ₹30,456.9 crore in the period. This was about ₹33,000 crore in 2017-18. Cumulative savings through Aadhaar-enabled DBT amounted to ₹1,20,469 crore by February-end.

Officials said that data for March and final numbers for 2018-19 are still being uploaded and the data would accordingly undergo some changes, including total fund transfers and savings. Total savings under the scheme could touch about ₹35,000 crore-40,000 crore, said a person familiar with the development.

The use of Aadhaar, mobile phones and direct transfers into the beneficiaries’ bank accounts have helped the government plug leakages.

Fake connections

For instance, the data estimates that 4.09 crore duplicate, fake or non-existent, inactive LPG connections were eliminated with the use of DBT in the PAHAL scheme. In addition there are 1.94 crore non-subsidised LPG consumers, including 1.04 crore ‘Give It Up’ consumers that led to the gains.

In the case of PDS, 2.82-crore duplicate and fake or non-existent ration card were deleted.