DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) 2023 - Agriculture, Full Form, Login & Portal

On January 1st, 2013, Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) went into effect with the main objective of improving the Government's delivery system and redesigning the current welfare program approach by accelerating, securing, and lowering the amount of fraud.

The Planning Commission first established the DBT Mission as the main hub for carrying out DBT initiatives. But from July 2013 to September 14th, 2015, the Department of Expenditure took over the DBT mission. On September 14th, 2015, the Coordination & PG Secretary shifted responsibility for the DBT Mission's affairs to the Cabinet Secretariat.

The Government has established 450 programs and served over 900 million individuals since the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme's commencement.

What is Direct Benefit Transfer?

A Giro mechanism to send subsidies directly to recipients through their connected bank accounts is what the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme or program wants to build.

The DBT effort entails the following programs:

  • Project National Against Child Labor.
  • Student Financial Aid.
  • Subsidized LPG.

The primary responsibilities of the direct benefit transfer (DBT) vertical are to configure and onboard DBT Schemes on the PFMS Portal.

  • PFMS and external DBT payment systems integration.
  • Constant DBT scheme evaluation and feedback via DBT Dashboard and Service Plus portal integration with PFMS
  • Correspondence with the technical team, NPCl, the DBT Mission, and other stakeholders of the DBT Scheme Owner.
  • Auditing, RTI responses, and any additional DBT-related tasks

Direct Benefit Transfer History (DBT)

The scheme debuted on January 1st, 2013, in a few Indian cities.

The former Union Minister for Rural Development, Jairam Ramesh, and the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, launched the DBT at Gollaprolu in the East Godavari district.

In 43 districts, the first direct benefit transfer (DBT) stage was introduced, originally focusing on social security pensions and scholarships.

It was extended across the country beginning in December 2014.

A Central Sector Scheme is the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN). Subject to specific criteria, the scheme intends to provide financial help to landholding farmer households across the nation so they may take care of domestic necessities and costs associated with agriculture and related activities.

Through the direct benefit transfer in agriculture method, the scheme transfers INR 6000 in three INR 2,000 installments every four months into the farmers' bank accounts. From April 2021, the State of West Bengal will participate in the PM-KISAN Scheme.

Direct Benefit Transfer Goals

  • Limiting theft and duplication.
  • Addressing the beneficiary precisely.
  • Lessening payment delays.
  • Benefits are transferred electronically, reducing the number of layers engaged in benefit flow.

DBT Components

Beneficiary Account Validation System, a reliable platform for payments and reconciliation connected with the RBI, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), public and private sector banks, regional rural banks, cooperative banks, etc., are key elements in the execution of direct benefit transfer (DBT) schemes.

Beneficiary Account Validation

These workflow-based systems for social sector Central Sector, Centrally Sponsored, and State Linked Schemes include functionalities like beneficiary application for the scheme with information of bank account/Aadhaar, scheme owners' assessment of beneficiary qualifications under scheme guidelines, initial validation of bank account/Aadhaar, the start of payment via Fund Transfer Order, etc.

Payment and Reconciliation

After choosing legitimate beneficiaries, the Scheme IT systems start the payment process by sending payment details to the PFMS, which then routes the funds to the banks after the appropriate beneficiary authentication. 

PFMS has developed into a reliable payment and reconciliation platform integrated with 500+ banks for beneficiary bank account authentication and beneficiary bank account Aadhaar seeding verification with NPCI. The inability to make payments and delays in the beneficiary receiving their money was significantly reduced by this pre-validation of the beneficiary account/Aadhaar-connected bank.

Core Banking Remedies

As the final delivery point, banks are essential to the DBT workflow. Since all account-based payments are processed through the primary banking channels, the DBT program gained the needed pace thanks to processing efficiency at this stage and reverse Management information systems (MIS) flow.

Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB)

Using the Aadhaar number as a master key, the NPCI's Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB) System electronically channels government benefits and subsidies into the Aadhaar Enabled Bank Accounts (AEBA) of the intended beneficiaries.

NPCI created an Aadhaar mapper to make money transfers easier. This mapper serves as the foundation of the Aadhaar Payments Bridge (APB), allowing NPCI to route payments to the targeted bank and grant credit to DBT beneficiaries according to data about the banks seeded with the Aadhaar number.

The Several Services Included by Direct Benefit Transfer

The many cash transfer techniques that fall under direct benefit transfer (DBT) are listed below.

Cash Transfer

Under the Direct Benefit Transfer cash transfer program, the Government sends each beneficiary cash immediately. The different methods by which the Government distributes funds to recipients are listed below:

  1. The money could be given straight to the beneficiary.
  2. The beneficiary receives the money after it is transferred from the State Treasury Account.
  3. Via an Implementing Agency that the Government has designated.
  4. The State or Central Government provides the beneficiary with the funding.
  5. The National Social Assistance Program (NSAP) and MGNREGA are a couple of examples.

Transfers of Benefits in Kind Made by the Government to Recipients

  1. Under the Direct Benefit Transfer In-Kind Benefit Transfer Scheme, the Government provides perks to recipients directly or through government-designated implementing organizations.
  2. The Government frequently pays for the costs of procuring goods that can be used for public distribution and transporting them to authorized individuals. The beneficiaries are then given free access to these goods or services at a very low cost.

Other Types of Transfers

Along with financial and in-kind transfers, the Direct Benefits Transfer program also provides funds and subsidies to various non-governmental actors who support the accomplishment of government goals.

Incentives, entitlements, and other benefits granted to volunteer community workers and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) fall under this category of benefit transfers. They receive such advantages due to their support to other participants and the neighbourhood.

The Direct Benefit Transfer benefits

  • Direct Benefit Transfer expedites the safe distribution of information and money while reducing the likelihood of fraud.
  • Transferring the subsidy money directly to the beneficiary accounts eliminates the requirement for mediators like government workers.
  • There is more openness, and there are fewer instances of theft from funds allocated by the Central Government.
  • Beneficiaries are precisely targeted, thanks to direct benefit transfers.
  • Beneficiaries would be allowed to join just one bank account by tying the money contributions to their Aadhaar information, limiting the duplication of subsidies.
  • It makes it possible for the Government to speak with citizens and program participants at once.
  • DBT helps distribute grants to deserving applicants who are struggling financially. It facilitates communication between the Government and the intended audience.
  • The strategy lowers the exploitation of public resources and avoids theft in payment distribution.
  • DBT works with many organizations and is a strong settlement and transaction technology.
  • DBT has proven to be an effective way of connecting with individuals to distribute aid funds.

Issues with the Direct Benefit Transfer

  • Despite being widely used and applicable, it should be emphasized that direct benefit transfer (DBT) has a few structural problems that will eventually need to be taken into consideration.
  • Presently, 91% of the country's citizens have registered for an Aadhar card. As DBT and Aadhar are linked for schemes, extending the Aadhar connection to 100% is essential to ensure that nobody is left out.
  • One of the major obstacles to applying this method is the low level of computer literacy among rural residents.
  • The availability of financial services to about 81% of Indians may invalidate people from rural backgrounds. Insufficient financial capabilities will prevent people from using them. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna will be key in this situation.
  • It is quite challenging for bank associates to connect with people who do not have bank accounts. Bank correspondents are also plagued by technical concerns such as poor internet connectivity. Enhancing financial services in rural areas is necessary for the advantages to reach the intended recipients.

Transfer of Direct Benefits in PDS

Due to the failure of the pilot efforts to provide the expected outcomes, The Centre recently planned to make the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for the Public Distribution System (PDS) optional for states.


In Chandigarh, Puducherry, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, three Union Territories, the Center had started experimental initiatives for cash transfers to PDS recipients, who subsequently had to buy food items on the open market.

The DBT attempt, according to Minister of Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, failed to meet its goals because recipients moved funds away from buying food grains.

Additionally, PDS beneficiaries in a Maharashtra village were given the choice of utilizing DBT or buying food grains from a store with reasonable prices. It was found that the fair price shop was where the recipients preferred to shop.

Similarly, Jharkhand ended a DBT pilot program in the public distribution system last year, ten months after it had begun.

Benefits of DBT for PDS

  • DBT can decrease red tape and increase efficiency while preventing fraudulent activity.
  • PDS gave flexibility and efficiency in terms of food quality; consumers could purchase grains of higher quality than those they received through the PDS or use the money to purchase other items.
  • Targeting: The objective of DBT is not to eliminate subsidies but rather to focus them wisely so that they only reach the targeted recipients.
  • To avoid market distortion, the indirect subsidy is incorporated into the actual shipment of a product at a lesser price than the open market price. This price discrepancy causes market disruption, opening up opportunities for supply diversion, arbitrage, and profit on the black market.
  • Low economic cost: The complicated administrative apparatus required to manage the rationing of subsidized goods must be sustained at a high cost, which DBT can decrease.

DBT's drawbacks in PDS

  • Delay in payment: Failure to deposit funds into accounts on schedule.
  • Not inflation-indexed: Neither market prices nor inflation is considered when adjusting the cash amount. Because of this, the monetary value of rice is lower than its market worth.
  • Several accounts' cash is being transferred to a different account. When recipients open a new bank account, their Aadhaar number is instantly linked to it. The funds are automatically transferred via the Public Finance Management System, a cash transfer system run by the National Payments Corporation of India, into the most recent Aadhaar-seed account. On the other hand, the recipient looks over the account registered with the department of civil supplies.
  • Limited access: A NITI Aayog investigation revealed that recipients of the cash transfer project had problems getting access to money put in their bank accounts.
  • Ineffective communication: SMS notification of recipients is a requirement of DBT's standard operating procedures. People don't care if money is deposited by SMS. As a result, beneficiaries typically needed to visit banks multiple times to check on and withdraw money. Enormous opportunity costs were incurred, especially for poor rural people.
  • Additionally, it was found that most beneficiaries had to pay extra money for sporadic trips to the market and banks to withdraw their subsidies and buy food.
  • Beneficiaries have found that visiting the bank to withdraw money takes more time than visiting the ration shop to buy their fortnightly supplies.
  • Bank exploitation: It was found that banks were reducing the funds recipients got with whatever outstanding loans they had, preventing them from purchasing rice from ration shops.
  • Poor mechanisms for resolving complaints: Although there were toll-free lines, consumers did not know how to use them.

What is the Current Central Government Subsidy Level, and How Much is Covered by DBT?

  1. The Center allotted over INR 3.70 lakh crore (more than 10% of the total budget amount of INR 35.83 lakh crore) for 38 various types of subsidies in the fiscal year 2021–22 Union Budget, the most significant of which were food, fertilizer, and gasoline.
  2. DBT includes all subventions. In addition to subsidies, DBT also includes a variety of scholarships, stipends, and financial aid.
  3. DBT consists of 312 programs, including important subsidies administered by 54 ministries and departments of the Central Government.
  4. Between 2013 and 2020, removing 3.99 billion duplicate and phony/non-existent ration cards is expected to save the Public Distribution Scheme over Rs 1 lakh crore (PDS).
  5. By eliminating redundant, fictitious/non-existent, and unqualified beneficiaries, MGNREGA was able to save 10% on wages. In addition, 4.11 crore duplicate, fraudulent or inactive LPG connections have been eliminated.

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) must be used for all Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh (PAHAL) or Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) transactions, according to a directive issued by the Ministry of Finance on February 26th, 2016. (NPCI). To aid in facilitating the DBT procedure, banks get compensated. The two forms of commission offered are listed below:

  • Transaction fee: According to the NPCI circular, a fee of Rs. 0.50 is assessed for each transaction. The NPCI, destination beneficiaries, and sponsor banks must split the cost.
  • Pension plans, maternity benefits, and MGNREGA have a fixed transaction fee of Rs. 5 and a variable transaction fee of Rs. 0.50 per transaction of Rs. 100 for cash-out incentives. There is a Rs. 5 maximum due amount for this charge. The value of the transaction is down to the nearest hundred. The primary objective of providing these incentives is to efficiently deliver financial services to the final beneficiary directly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the website for Direct Benefit Transfer?

The Government has introduced a portal where all the program information is listed. Administrators on the site have access to all state and central assistance programs. The portal will be updated with any scheme modifications or upgrades. They can also utilize the portal to receive all the subsidies offered to beneficiaries.

Why is it necessary for DBT to connect my Aadhaar card to my bank account?

Your Aadhar number serves as the passphrase for financial transfers made through the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme by the NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India). They provide an Aadhaar mapper that keeps track of all the data on the beneficiary's account or an Aadhaar-enabled bank account, facilitating quick payment processing. Therefore, you must link your Aadhaar card for the DBT procedure.

What does PFMS DBT payment mean?

The Public Financial Management System (PFMS) is a Central Plan Monitoring System of the Government of India's Ministry of Finance. It serves as a standard platform for both Aadhar and Non-Aadhar e-payments for the DBT program.

Can I access DBT data online?

You can, indeed. The Government has launched the Direct Benefit Transfer online portal, which contains all of the scheme's details. Any adjustments or modifications to the Direct Benefit Transfer DBT program will be immediately posted on the site.

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