Finance Ministry on Sunday said that digital payment infrastructure enabled releasing over ₹28,000 crore to over 30 crore poor under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

“A digital pipeline has been laid through linking of Jan-Dhan accounts as well as other accounts with the account holders’ mobile numbers and Aadhaar [Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM)]. This infrastructure pipeline is providing the necessary backbone for DBT flows, adoption of social security/pension schemes, etc,” the Ministry said. Launched in 2014, there are over 38 crore Jan Dhan accounts, which is a low frill and basic saving account.

As on April 10, the Government disbursed ₹9,930 crore to 19.86 account crore Jan Dhan women account holder. This means ₹500 has been transferred in each of the women account hotel and so far 97 per cent of such beneficiaries have been covered. Similarly, a sum of ₹13,855 crore transferred for 6.93 crore out of 8 crore farmers as the first instalment of ₹2,000 under PM KISAN. Another batch of beneficiaries included under the National Social Assistance Programme and include 2.82 crore senior citizens, widows and divyags got ₹1,000 each and a total of ₹1,405 crore. State Governments released ₹3,066 crore to 2.16 crore beneficiaries through building and other construction workers cess fund.

The Ministry said that digital infrastructure enables interoperable, speedy and accurate transactions. The bank accounts are enabled to carry out both cash and digital transactions at bank branches, Business Correspondent (BC) points, merchant locations and on internet. Using biometric ID, highly cost-effective payments solutions like AePS (Aadhaar enabled Payment System)/ Bhim Aadhaar Pay have been created both for banking services and for retail payments.

The Digital Payment Ecosystem includes medium such as AePS (helps in cash withdrawal by using Aadhaar authentication at branch/ BC locations), Bhim Aadhaar Pay (enables payment to merchants using Aadhaar authentication) and RuPay debit cards (as on March 31, a total of 60.4 crore RuPay cards have been issued including 29 crore issued in PMJDY accounts). These cards could be used at ATMs for cash withdrawal and Points of Sale (PoS) & e-commerce for digital payments. Then there is UPI, an immediate real-time payment system which helps in both person to person (P2P) and Person to Merchant (P2M) transactions. There is also BBPS (Bharat Bill Payment System) which helps in payment of utility bills through internet and BC locations both by using cash and digital modes.