A day after the Lok Sabha approved a Bill to provide statutory backing to Aadhaar, the finance ministry today said the direct benefit transfer (DBT) for fertiliser subsidy will be rolled out soon.
“Now, the idea is to roll it out in respect of other subsidies like fertiliser and food. It will be done slowly and calibrated manner without creating any disruption or without creating any difficulties for ultimate beneficiaries,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said on the sidelines of the Advancing Asia conference.
Currently, Aadhaar, the unique identity number, is being used for transfer of LPG subsidy and some other programmes of the government.
“It (use of Aadhaar) will bring in a lot of efficiency in administration and governance. With regard to fertiliser, it is under discussion. It will be rolled out very soon,” Das said.
He added that it was “very satisfying” to know that within 11 days of the announcement of the Budget, the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha.
Das dubbed it as “a game-changing phase” of legislation which will ensure two things — benefit reaches those who deserve subsidies, and leakages and transmission losses are prevented.
Emphasising that the enactment of the legislation will make the entire mechanism of subsidy transfer more targeted and efficient, the secretary said it was fiscally very prudent and a people-oriented measure.
“DBT and Aadhaar framework will be linked. Now, we have a statutory backing for the whole exercise which earlier we didn’t have,” he noted.
Asked about the quantum of savings, he said it’s very difficult to estimate but hoped that a good amount would be saved.
While piloting the Bill in the Lok Sabha yesterday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it would help in saving thousands of crores of rupees by plugging leakages and diversion of funds.