The Principal Secretary to PM has written to the GOI Secretaries of the concerned Ministries/Departments on the roll out of the second phase of the Direct Benefits Transfer. He has said that it has been decided that the three pension schemes managed by Ministry of Rural Development will also be brought under the DBT in all 121 districts under Phase I and Phase II . He said it has also been decided that LPG subsidy will be rolled out in twenty districts from May 15 2013. He urged that the digitization of databases should begin in all districts in the country irrespective of the rollout of Direct Benefit Transfer as this is a critical activity which precedes rollout of Direct Benefit Transfer.
Excerpt of the Principal Secretary`s letter is as follows:
“Sub: Rollout of the Next Phase of DBT.
I am writing to you in the context of some important decisions taken at the last meeting of the National Committee on Direct Benefit Transfer held on 5th April 2013. I am attaching a copy of the Prime Minister`s closing remarks for your information.
In the meeting, it was decided that the next phase of the Direct Benefit Transfer will be rolled out from 1 July 2013. In this phase, 78 more districts will be covered in addition to the 43 districts already under Direct Benefit Transfer. These districts cover both UIDAI and NPR States. Further, the three pension schemes managed by MoRD would also be brought under Direct Benefit Transfer in all the 121 districts of phase I & II districts from 1.7.2013. It was also decided that Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG subsidy would also be rolled out in 20 districts from 15 May 2013. In addition, it was agreed that the process of digitization of databases should begin in all districts, irrespective of the rollout of Direct Benefit Transfer as this is a critical activity which need not await the rollout.
There is adequate time to prepare for the next phase of rollout. Every Department implementing Direct Benefit Transfer is expected to begin work without any delay so that rollout takes place as decided. Particular attention may also be paid to the following activities which are on the critical path for the rollout:
(i) Digitisation of beneficiary databases:
This has been an important challenge in the first phase. Absence of digitized databses hampers other steps in DBT. You may like to initiate work on preparation of digitized databases across all districts, not just those covered in Phase II, so that the rollout happens on time.
(ii) Instructions on Rollout of Phase-II.
Your Department may issue clear, unambiguous instructions about the next phase of rollout in these 78 districts on 1.7.2013.
(iii) Completing the Process Re-engineering for Direct Benefit Transfer Funds Flow:
Process re-engineering is essential to ensure direct transfer of funds to beneficiary accounts and real time monitoring. The Prime Minister emphasized this aspect by stating that “Direct Benefit Transfer requires process re-engineering at the government level. We need to change the way we transact business, the way we release funds, the way we track funds and the information we have on beneficiaries.” It is important that process re-engineering is completed in time for Phase-II.
(iv) Monitoring the rollout:
It is necessary to monitor the rollout closely. The Prime Minister has said that “Direct Benefit Transfer has revealed the poor nature of tracking and monitoring systems we have in departments. If we need to ensure that the money we spend delivers outcomes, it is necessary that we have a robust monitoring system in place.” Each Department must therefore put in place a robust monitoring system that can monitor coverage of beneficiaries and the transfers that are taking place, both in volume and value.
It has been announced that the Direct Benefit Transfer programme will be rolled out in phases across the country. By now, all of you are familiar with the basic essentials for implementing Direct Benefit Transfer. You are urged to pay attention to the issues raised above and implement Direct Benefit Transfer as envisaged.”