There was a time when a huge chunk of subsidy issued by the government failed to reach the beneficiaries. The flaw was in the system where the majority of these subsidies went untraceable because of corruption. To clean the mess in the system and benefit the actual entity, the government came up with an unbeatable solution – transferring the money directly into the bank account of the beneficiary under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme. Thus, it clubbed the bank account and the scheme together and linked both with Aadhaar.
A majority of the Indians still live below the poverty level. The government made it easier for them to get subsidies by opening Jan Dhan bank accounts for free. The Central Government provides subsidies on hundreds of schemes to eligible citizens and today, this subsidy goes directly into the bank account of the beneficiary as opposed to the cheque or cash received by them in the past. There are a number of government schemes that have either been linked with Aadhaar or are in the process of getting linked with Aadhaar.
However, for those people who have a number of bank accounts, the latest bank account linked with Aadhaar automatically becomes the default bank account for receiving government subsidies under various schemes. Let us have a look at some of the prominent government schemes for which linking Aadhaar has been made mandatory to avail subsidies.
Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)
DBT is a mechanism through which the subsidy amount issued by the government is transferred directly into the beneficiary’s bank account. Previously, the subsidy amount was provided either in cash or by cheque. Currently, more than 90 Central Government-sponsored schemes under 19 Ministries have been clubbed under DBT. Pahal or the LPG subsidy to Indian citizens is one of the most prominent schemes falling under this category. Schemes like MGNREGA, food subsidies, etc. have also been kept under DBT.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
According to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), women of Below Poverty Level (BPL) household, who do not have access to LPG connection can apply for a new connection and the government will fund their initial investment of Rs 1600 for new gas connection, cost of the gas stove, hose, regulator, etc. along with first refill. The subsidy amount would be transferred directly to the bank account of the beneficiary. The scheme requires the beneficiary to verify using Aadhar to get the subsidy amount transferred to his/her account as per the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme.
Under this scheme, UGC provides the honorarium of Rs 31,000/- per month up to two years to selected candidates. In addition to that, the highly qualified, experienced or superannuated teachers also get contingency grant up to Rs 50,000 per annum. As per the latest notification by the government, this facility can be availed by only those teachers who link their Aadhar with the form as well as their bank account for the subsidy.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G)
Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G), the government provides Rs 1.2 Lakhs in plains and Rs 1.3 Lakhs in hilly areas for the construction of pucca house for BPL families. The government aims to construct more than 1 Crore houses under this scheme by the end of FY 2018-2019. All payments under this scheme will be made to the bank account or Post office Account of the beneficiary through Direct Banefit Scheme only when it is linked with Aadhaar.
Cash Transfer of Food Subsidy Rules, 2015
According to the Cash Transfer of Food Subsidy Rules, 2015, the government pays a certain amount of money to the deprived people under BPL at a price pre-determined by the Central Government. To make the system efficient, the government has linked ration card of the users with their Aadhaar and the subsidy amount is transferred to the Aadhaar-linked bank account under Direct Benefit Transfer.
Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana
Under Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana, rural landless households get insurance coverage as well as coverage against partial/permanent disability to the head of the family/earning member of the family. The Social Security Scheme is undertaken by the Department of Financial Services. In order to get the benefits under this scheme, it is mandatory for the beneficiary to link his Aadhaar with the scheme as well as with the bank account where the amount would be disbursed.
Maternity Benefit Programme
Under the Maternity Benefit Programme launched by the Central Government, women will receive Rs 5,000 in three instalments directly in their bank account. This programme ensures that women can take proper care of themselves during pregnancy and post childbirth. In order to receive the benefits under this scheme, it is necessary for beneficiaries to link their Aadhaar with the bank account and the scheme.
The government has made it mandatory for beneficiaries to link their Aadhaar with more than 100 such schemes to avail benefits under them. This push towards digitisation has enabled the government to plug the leakage of funds and re-route it to actual beneficiaries efficiently and in lesser time. This has helped the government save over Rs 57,000 Crores under Direct Benefit Transfer in just 2016-2017 out of which the government saved more than Rs 29,769 Crores just through Pahal scheme.
Linking Aadhaar with various schemes has not only improved the targeted delivery of subsidies but has also reduced the time taken to reach the beneficiary. This has also helped in reducing corruption in the system. There are a number of other facilities as well for which linking Aadhaar has been made mandatory such as bank accounts, PAN, EPF account, mobile number, etc.