Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said the government’s technology-driven direct benefit transfer (DBT) has been crucial in implementing the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana aimed to help the poor amid the coronavirus crisis.
“The PM Garib Kalyan (scheme) used the technology available and was therefore able to do direct benefit transfers for various categories … DBT was implemented with missionary zeal in the last four years. Otherwise, this wouldn’t have been possible.”
As many as 22 million construction workers received financial support of Rs 3,950 crore, Sitharaman said. “The money was directly transferred in their accounts. This was possible because of DBT.”
As on 16 May, one-time transfer of Rs 2,000 each was provided to 81.9 million beneficiaries under the PM-Kisan scheme, which amounted to over Rs 16,000 crore. As many as 200 million account holders of Jan Dhan Accounts will receive Rs 500 for three months, out of which Rs 10,025 crore has already been transferred.
“We responded immediately by giving foodgrain, cash, cylinders … state governments, Nafed (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India), and FCI (Food Corporation of India), amid logistical challenges, made a lot of effort to give upfront grains to those in need,” the minister said.