Direct Benefit Transfer a game changer: Arvind Subramanian

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on Thursday described the government’s direct benefit transfer (DBT) as a “game changer” for India.

He highlighted the fiscal impact of the government’s DBT scheme of cash transfers which yielded savings of over Rs.12,000 crore on domestic LPG in 2014-15.

“DBT is important not only for fiscal savings … if the government can deliver these services it would legitimise the state, it would arrest the ongoing trend of de-legitimisation of the state the world over,” Subramanian said at a roundtable here on “Direct Benefit and Basic Income Transfers” organised by the International Centre for Human Development.

“By moving from a regime of subsidies to transfers, you liberate the market system to work more efficiently. That is why this would count among the first generation of reforms,” Subramanian said in his illustrated talk titled “Realising the JAM vision”.

JAM, which was first coined by the chief economic advisor last February in the Economic Survey, represents – Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile – that will allow the transfer of benefits in a leakage-proof, targeted and cashless mode.

“The DBT scheme is above all a way of improving the life of the vulnerable and the poor,” he added.

Subramanian went on to illustrate how pilot projects and studies show subsidy leakages to have gone down from between 12 to 25 percent.

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