DBT Windfall: Government Saved Rs 20,000 Crore Last Fiscal, Total Savings Hit Rs 57,000 Crore

DBT Windfall: Government Saved Rs 20,000 Crore Last Fiscal, Total Savings Hit Rs 57,000 CroreAadhaar card camp/Getty Images

In the fiscal year (FY) 2016-17, the government has managed to save huge sums of money through better targeting of schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and PAHAL, using Aadhaar and direct benefit transfer (DBT), Aman Sharma of the Economic Times has reported.

Through DBT, all benefits are transferred directly to the beneficiary’s account.

MGNREGS has emerged as the biggest winner, with more than Rs 8,741 crore saved in the last financial year. Just behind MGNREGS is liquefied petroleum gas subsidy scheme called PAHAL, with Rs 8,185 crore saved. In total, the government has saved Rs 20,000 crore through DBT in various schemes last fiscal. This has raised its cumulative savings since taking office to Rs 57,029 crore.

The introduction of Aadhaar in MGNREGS has led to scrapping of nearly one crore fake and fraudulent job cards, a government official has told the newspaper. This has brought down the total number of job cards under the scheme to 12 crore.

"It is ironical that a UPA government’s subsidy scheme is bringing the maximum savings for the current government. We have seeded 85 per cent of MGNREGS accounts with Aadhaar," the official was quoted by the newspaper as saying.