Make DBT a clincher: PM to babus

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called upon bureaucrats to do their best for the success of the government’s ambitious Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) programme – a key element of the ruling Congress’s strategy to sail through the 2014 Lok Sabha poll.

“I would urge those of you who are involved directly or indirectly in the implementation of the Direct Benefits Transfer scheme to ensure that the scheme is a success,” said Singh, addressing the bureaucrats on the occasion of the eighth Civil Services Day here on Sunday. He said the DBT programme would lead to greater financial inclusion and give a sense of empowerment to people.

With just about a year left for the next Lok Sabha poll, the Congress wants the government to move fast towards transferring the subsidies and other benefits of its welfare schemes directly to the accounts of the beneficiaries.

The party believes that the programme – along with the proposed Food Security Bill, Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, and a series of proposed anti-graft legislations – would help it blunt the anti-incumbency wave in the parliamentary elections.

Prime Minister Singh told the bureaucrats that the DBT would lead to better targeting of subsidies and reducing delays in the delivery of benefits, like scholarships and pensions, to the intended beneficiaries.

It would also help in curbing wastages and leakages and result in greater financial inclusion, he said, adding: “I think it is also important to recognise the fact that the programmes like the Direct Benefits Scheme also give a sense of empowerment to our people, increase their faith in the processes of governance and therefore have a far larger positive effect than can be measured by the direct advantages they confer.”

Despite teething troubles experienced in the first phase of DBT rollout in 43 districts across the country, the government on April 5 last decided to expand the programme to cover 78 more districts from July 1 next. “We also need to make full use of new and modern technology not only in the delivery of public services but in governance in general. ,” Singh said on Sunday.

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