Both the central and state governments in India operate a vast array of cash and in-kind transfers to protect its poor. But these social protection schemes often suffer from substantial leakages and poor targeting, distort market functioning by subsidising prices and thereby impose significant fiscal stress without commensurate social benefits. India is seeking to port these subsidies into direct-to-beneficiary transfers, often called Direct Benefit Transfers or DBT. Implementing DBT should be a means to an end, not only to reduce leakages in the Indian subsidy system, but also to ensure that the targeted poor and vulnerable in society get timely transfers at low cost in time and money. In the Indian context DBT readiness is the ability of states/UTs to pursue government to citizen (G2C) and government to bank/business solutions through the use of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) viz. electronic transfer of cash or in-kind benefits from government to citizen or for effecting cashless in- kind transfers. Accurate targeting of beneficiaries due to Aadhar and biometric verification makes it feasible to avoid leakages due to ghost beneficiaries and to avoid leakages due to duplication errors . The DBT-Readiness of all Indian states and Union Territories (UTs) will be assessed both annually and quarterly by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) over the next three years starting from 2016 to 2018 based on annual surveys. The quarterly assessment will be based off a combination of primary and secondary data available or made available by state/UT governments. States/UTs will be ranked relatively using the annual surveys. The quarterly rankings will be based off absolute index, which will help track states/UTs their own growth over time. In addition to the overall DBT assessment of states and UTs, this survey undertakes DBT Readiness of 10 Central Schemes.
NCAER in collaboration with the DBT Mission, organized a one day Northeast Regional Workshop on Direct Benefit Transfer in Imphal, Manipur. Apart from NCAER and the DBT Mission, the other stakeholders that participated in the workshop included the Unique Identification Authority of India, National Payments Corporation of India, Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of India,... Read More
Bornali Bhandari is a Professor at NCAER with a background in international economics and macroeconomics, specifically focusing on the impact of globalisation on development. Currently, she is engaged in a number of industry studies including automobiles, farm mechanisation, and digitisation. Her wider research interests include analysis of skilling from a 3-E perspective (education, employability and... Read More
Pallavi Choudhuri is a Senior Fellow at the NCAER-National Data Innovation Center (NDIC), with primary research interests in development, informality, employment, inequality, and gender. At NDIC, her recent work has focused on leading experiments related to measurement gaps in income and consumption data and women’s time use data. Prior to joining NCAER, Choudhuri taught courses... Read More
Ajaya Kumar Sahu is an Associate Fellow at NCAER. He is an Agricultural Economist by training. During his stay at the NCAER, he has worked on areas like poverty analysis, issues related to agriculture and rural development, labour and employment with special reference to quality of jobs and skills, public finance and analysis of price dynamics. ... Read More
Sadhna Singh is working as a Research Team Assistant at NCAER.