Volume of direct benefit transfers rises 37% to 3.9 lakh crore transaction so far this year: UIDAI CEO

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The volume of direct benefit transfers (DBT) has jumped 37 per cent to 3.9 lakh crore transactions so far this year from 2.8 lakh crore transactions in 2020, UIDAI chief executive Saurabh Garg said on Friday. The DBT transfers grew 37 per cent to 3.9 lakh crore transactions so far this year over the full year of 2020, Garg told an event organised by the Economic Times newspaper.

Addressing the same event, Union Urban Development and Housing Minister Hardip Singh Puri said the amount of money that the Centre transferred as part of the DBT scheme stood at Rs 68,903 crore so far this year. He did not offer details and the previous numbers.

Puri, who also heads the petroleum ministry after the recent Cabinet reshuffle, said financial inclusion is not only a desirable objective but a developmental imperative today.

He further said the government has taken many steps towards financial inclusion and specifically mentioned the bank account opening drive that helped open 42 crore accounts now.

The scheme, launched to help plug the leakages in the subsidy system, is being used by the Centre and the states today to transfer money to crores of eligible beneficiaries under various schemes.

The DBT cash transfers include pensions, fertiliser subsidies, the now discontinued LPG subsidy, COVID-related cash help from the Centre and a host of other schemes under the Centre and state administrations.

The DBT scheme transfers central subsidies and other cash transfers to the no-frills accounts opened mostly with the public sector banks under the financial inclusion drive.

When the no-frills account scheme was launched, banking penetration was only under 45 per cent, which in the first year itself had crossed around 55 per cent, and then went to touch over 80 per cent now, with over 42 crore such no-frills accounts.

Addressing the same event, India Post Payments Bank chief executive J Venkatramu said over 70 per cent of his accounts are no-frills but they have more transactions and more balance at the same time.

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