Rs.1 lakh cr paid to social scheme beneficiaries in 3 years

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The Union Finance Ministry has paid over Rs.1 lakh crore to the beneficiaries of the various social schemes under the Direct Benefit Transfer during the last three years, an official statement said on 15 May.

"Rs.1,02,786.77 crore has been paid through the public financial management system to the beneficiaries of the various social sector schemes under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) till February," said the statement.

The social schemes include the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), National Health Mission (NHM) and food subsidy.


Highlighting the key initiatives of the Ministry's Department of Expenditure during the last three years, the statement said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley released on March 7 General Finance Rules for effective fiscal management and timely delivery of services.

"The number of central schemes were pruned to 300 from 1,500 and centrally sponsored schemes to 28 from 66 for better allotment of resources and improve the efficiency of the programmes, as mentioned in the Union Budget for fiscal 2016-17," it said.

The Department has also done away with the distinction between plan and non-plan expenditure and its appraisal by the committee concerned and now all schemes and projects have an outcome framework, with a start and a sun-set date co-terminus with the Finance Commission cycle.

During the last fiscal (2016-17), a special assistance of Rs.11,000 crore was earmarked in the Union Budget for the development needs of the states as against Rs.10,890 crore in 2015-16.

On the 14th Finance Commission's recommendation, the Union government on April 4, 2016 approved annual flexibility for additional fiscal deficit to states from 2016-17 to 2019-20 up to 0.5 per cent over 3 per cent limit given a year provided the states maintain the debt-GSDP ratio within 25 per cent and interest payments-revenue receipts ratio up to 10 per cent.

The government has received Rs.471.25 crore from corporates and Rs.27 lakh from the public as voluntary contribution for its Swachh Bharat Kosh (Clean India Campaign) since September 2014. Projects to renovate 2,46,307 toilets in state-run schools worth Rs.427.84 crore were approved.

The Seventh Central Pay Commission's recommendations were implemented to benefit 47 lakh central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners, it said.

"Financial assistance worth Rs.3,461 crore in 2014-15, Rs.12,452 crore in 2015-16 and Rs.8,391 crore was given to the states affected by natural calamities from the National Disaster Relief Fund," added the statement.

As part of the development package for Jammu and Kashmir, a Rs.80,068-crore Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan was announced in 2015. Special assistance of Rs.1,195 crore was given to the people affected by floods in 2015-16, Rs.1,093 crore for restoration of damaged infrastructure and Rs.800 crore for interest subvention to the affected traders, self-employed and businesses.