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With improved bank coverage, Tripura to do better in DBT

Agartala (Tripura) [India]: The Union Government’s Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Mission under the Cabinet Secretariat in collaboration with Tripura’s Finance Department of organised a workshop to aware head of various departments and DDOs (Drawing Disbursing Officer).

The main speaker at the workshop was G. S. Sekhawat, Director of DBT and Principal Secretary, Finance and Rural Development of the Tripura government, Dr G. S. G. Ayenger.

The main aim behind the DBT would be to transfer money of the central schemes directly in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries and thus check corruption, increase transparency and accountability besides saving money of the state exchequers.

DBT Director Sekhawat said, “Direct benefit transfer is very a high priority area of the present government and the main objective is transferring the government benefits directly in the hands of the beneficiaries – either in their bank accounts or after the biometric authentication in kind benefits are to be transferred.”

He added: “DBT will help the real beneficiary in a big way, it will bring transparency in the whole system, it will bring accountability in the government system and it will save lot of money from the state exchequer also. Benefit delivery channels will be revamped and reengineered and ultimately due benefit to the beneficiary will be delivered in time. Eligible beneficiaries will be getting the benefits and ineligible beneficiaries will be removed from the system. All those things will help not only the beneficiaries but the state also.”

However, the DBT Director felt that there is vast difference between the claim and ground level coverage especially in the banking and tele-network areas.

He added that in order to bridge the gap a GIS DBT application is being developed to bringing together all the stakeholders including mapping of the financial and telecom infrastructure.

He viewed that compared to other north eastern states, Tripura is doing better in DBT.

Around two years back, DBT started with only 24 old schemes of the central government covering some 95 lakh beneficiaries but on date it covers 84 schemes with 34 crore beneficiaries under it.

Out of roughly 1,200 schemes declared by the union government there is a plan to cover some 500 schemes under DBT and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept a target to cover all Central Government schemes under DBT by the end of this fiscal.

Shekhawat claimed that after implementing DBT and during this two years time, the union government has saved some 32,000 crore.

Meanwhile, Ayenger expressed that there is no doubt over the benefits of DBT but at the same time felt that in a remote north-eastern state like Tripura before implementing it the state needs to go for total coverage of its population and area under proper bank and tele-network coverage and for the ground work little more time may be required.

Adding to Ayenger, Tripura Government’s Agriculture department’s Director Dr D. P. Sarkar expressed that since the state has almost covered around 99 percent of its population under the AADHAR, hence the state will hopefully have better coverage under the DBT but along with that there has to be a reliable net and bank coverage in the state.

The Tripura Government has ambitious plan to start cashless transactions in all departments under the state government from January 1.

All government, semi-government and private enterprises were asked to install swipe machines to discourage cash transactions, and cash less transactions were also recommended for hotels, tourist lodges, showrooms and handicraft outlets. (ANI)