3,500 state, central schemes worth Rs 6 lakh cr to come under DBT soon

Five states had already passed their versions of the state Aadhaar/DBT Act, and were expected to start announcing schemes that would be brought under DBT, officials said
After bringing a number of central government schemes under direct benefit transfer (DBT), the Narendra Modi administration has instructed the states to ensure that they pass their own DBT laws and create their own portals to bring in their schemes under the DBT umbrella.

Some 3,500 central and state government schemes and programmes, with a total outlay of Rs 6 lakh crore, are expected to be brought under the DBT mission. Out of these, 3,000 schemes and programmes are expected to be from the states, while 500 are central schemes.

The deadline for bringing those 500 schemes under DBT is December 2017. There is no fixed deadline for the states to bring in their schemes under their own DBT portals, though senior government officials told Business Standard that the exercise could be completed by 2019. Out of Rs 6 lakh crore, Rs 3 lakh crore is for the central schemes and the rest is for states’ schemes.

"There was a high-level review meeting with the Prime Minister in June. We have decided that all states will develop state direct benefit transfer portals. Then the states will either bring a state DBT Act or an executive order under section 57 of the Aadhaar Act," said a senior official.

"As on date, 23 states have already developed their portals. All states combined, around 520 schemes have been additionally identified for DBT. But, this is in just one month. Going forward, I think we will add at least 100 (schemes and programmes) on an average per state," added the official.

Officials said that five states have already passed their own version of the state Aadhaar/DBT Act and they are expected to start announcing schemes that would be brought under DBT from the next Budget onwards. These five states are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand.

Sources said that the exercise is expected to be a massive one, with around 3,500 independent information technology applications (one for each scheme) running and then data being aggregated. All states are expected to be ready with their portals by March end. The states have been told to use the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) to transfer the money directly to the beneficiaries' accounts for the state-funded schemes.

The official quoted above said that except for West Bengal, all other states are on board. While West Bengal has agreed to route its schemes through DBT, it is holding out on creating its own DBT portal. The Union territories are also expected to be on board and their DBT Acts are expected to be passed by the Centre soon.

Out of the 23 state DBT portals that have been created or are being built, 14 have already gone live, two have registered their domain names, and seven are works in progress, the official said.