Chandigarh: The Government of India has sought information of forgery in availing benefits of central schemes from Punjab regarding ‘direct payment’. The central government has also asked about the retrenchment of the wrong beneficiaries through ‘direct payment’ of these welfare schemes.

The Joint Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat of the Central Government has asked all the states, including Punjab, how many beneficiaries have been retrenched with the ‘direct payment’ of central welfare schemes till March 31, 2023 and how much money has been saved by doing so.

According to the details, during the year 2020-21, 10.67 lakh ghost beneficiary were identified in Punjab for taking wrong benefits through ‘direct payment’ of central schemes, whose retrenchment has resulted in savings of about Rs 3.39 crore.

Sources said that before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the BJP government at the Center wants to present to the people the blueprint of the savings of money in central schemes due to the implementation of Direct Payment (DBT). The Centre also wants to audit the stalled leakages in welfare schemes with DBT.

The Inter-State Council, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, met on July 16, 2016 to collect information on the financial benefits to the central exchequer through the DBT scheme implemented in central schemes.

In Punjab too, beneficiaries of financial welfare schemes have been linked with Aadhaar cards. After linking it to the Aadhaar card, the forgery has been exposed.

The beneficiaries who are given ration by the Food and Supplies Department have been linked to the Aadhaar card.

With this, about 1.16 lakh duplicate beneficiaries have been identified. The Government of India is also seeking information about the amount of ration saved due to the cutting of this ration card. Subsidy on gas cylinders is also available through ‘direct payment’. The NREGA scheme has also been linked.

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