A robust digital payments infrastructure has enabled cash transfer of Rs28,256 crore to more than 31 crore beneficiaries under the financial assistance scheme Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana announced by the government, finance ministry said on Sunday.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had last month announced Rs1.7 trillion financial assistance package, including cash transfer for the poor to help them battle the impact of the outbreak of covid-19.
"A digital pipeline has been laid through linking of Jan-Dhan accounts as well as other accounts with the account holders’ mobile numbers and Aadhaar [Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM)]. This infrastructure pipeline is providing the necessary backbone for DBT flows, adoption of social security/pension schemes, etc," finance ministry said on Sunday.
The government has always maintained that JAM trinity allows transfer of funds, in a cashless manner, plugging leakages in the system.
As much as Rs9,930 crore has been transferred to Jan Dhan account holders of 19.86 crore poor women, the ministry said. The first installment of Rs500 has been transferred to the women Jan Dhan account holders. Next two installments will be paid in June and July.
As part of the government's financial inclusion plan, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana was launched in 2014 to provide bank accounts for the unbanked.
"The bank accounts are enabled to carry out both cash and digital transactions at bank branches, business correspondent (BC) points, merchant locations and on internet. Using biometric ID, highly cost-effective payments solutions like AePS/ Bhim Aadhaar Pay have been created both for banking services and for retail payments," the ministry said.
Out of the Rs28,256 crore that has been transferred by the government, under National Social Assistance Programme for aged widows, divyang and senior citizens, 2.82 crore beneficiaries have been paid Rs500 each as the first installment, finance ministry said on Saturday. The second installment will be paid in May.
About 6.93 crore farmers have also received Rs2,000 each as advance payment under PM-Kisan amounting to Rs13,855 crore. State governments have also paid Rs3,066 crore to 2.16 crore construction workers from the Welfare Fund for Building and Other Constructions Workers with accumulated fund size of Rs31,000 crore as directed by the centre.