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Aadhaar Card-based Direct Benefit Transfers: Karnataka nails it first

The senior IAS officer said that earlier, there was no mechanism in place to verify identity and bank details of the beneficiary. 

Published: 02nd June 2021 04:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2021 04:09 AM   |  A+A-

Aadhaar Card

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Karnataka is the first state in the country to use the Aadhaar Payment Bridge System-based (APBS) Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs) to beneficiaries, a large chunk of whom are farmers. “This DBT system uses Aadhaar number of the beneficiary as financial address instead of the bank account number, which was the practice earlier, leading to corruption, identity and benefit thefts,” explained Additional Chief Secretary, DPAR (e-governance) Rajiv Chawla. “The scale at which Aadhar-based DBT is being used in the agriculture sector is unique to Karnataka,” he added.The senior IAS officer said that earlier, there was no mechanism in place to verify identity and bank details of the beneficiary. 

Often, middlemen and some corrupt bank officials used to have a field day at the expense of the beneficiary. “There are zero identity thefts today because of the Aadhaar-based DBTs,” the IAS officer added.In the last three years, Rs 13,200 crore in more than 500 lakh transactions has been transferred to beneficiaries through the Aadhaar-based DBT platform in Karnataka. The benefits of 117 schemes across 20 departments have been disbursed through DBT. Out of these, 37 schemes pertain to the agriculture sector. “Some of the major schemes are PM-KISAN State sector, milk incentives, minimum support price (MSP) and Covid package schemes. In the last three years, Rs 1,000 crore, in about 320 lakh transactions, have been disbursed to farmers,” he added.

Explaining about how fraud in DBTs in the agriculture sector has been eliminated, Chawla said that the State has a data base of 70 lakh farmers with details and extent of their land holding and the crops they grow. The database is called Farmer Registration and Unified Beneficiary Information System (FRUITS). “For availing benefit of government schemes, they have to provide their farmer ID. In the case of MSP, the verification details are carried out through Bhoomi - the online land records - and similarly for crop insurance,” he added. As per the Bhoomi records, there are 70 lakh farmers and 250 lakh agricultural plots in Karnataka.

Besides farmers, honorariums of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), anganwadi workers and pourkarmikas are being credited using Aadhaar-based DBT. The government has developed a DBT mobile app for beneficiaries to track their payment status. “We are in the process of on-boarding all government schemes through Aadhaar-based DBT. Use of facial recognition to claim pension benefits is being tried as a pilot project in Mandya district. It has been kept on hold because of Covid,” he added.



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