A recent survey conducted among farmers showed that three out of five of them were satisfied with the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme for fertilisers, reports The Hindu Business Line. The Centre rolled out DBT for fertilisers in 1 April after completing three pilot rounds.
However, the time taken to complete the transaction seems to be of concern. It takes an average of 5 minutes to service a single farmer, thus limiting the total number of farmers served to 120 a day. The time required needs to come down to 2 minutes in order to allow retailers to handle the 300 farmers who would otherwise queue up during peak season.
While Aadhaar-based authentication at the point-of-sale (PoS) centres has improved from earlier, nearly 3.4 per cent farmers are still unable to authenticate their unique identities either because of connectivity issues, or a biometric mismatch due to the machine not reading data correctly.
MicroSave, the consulting firm that carried out the survey says there is a need to address retailer attrition. Due to low sale commissions, retailers could be disincentivised and one possible method to rectify this would be to increase their commission. The Cabinet increased retailer commission in March to Rs 354 per tonne from Rs 180 per tonne. Microsave has also suggested making the POS machine device-agnostic, to allow tablets, smartphones and computers to be used for the Aadhaar authentication.
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