Huge goof-up by Karnataka govt in disbursing DBT schemes: CAG report

Benefits worth Rs 2,829.02 crore were disbursed outside the core Direct Benefit Transfer portal by 22 government departments due to delay in onboarding of identified schemes, the CAG said

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Benefits worth Rs 2,829.02 crore were disbursed outside the core Direct Benefit Transfer portal by 22 government departments, even after its launch in Karnataka, due to delay in onboarding of identified schemes, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said in a report.

Though all departments were required to use the certified core DBT portal compulsorily for all fund transfers by the end of 2018-19 and 239 schemes implemented by various departments were identified for transfer of benefits through DBT, the state could achieve this only in respect of 83 schemes as of April, 2021.

The Karnataka government in August 2018 had ordered the establishment of a core DBT portal for all departments to transfer the benefits to the citizens.

The CAG report regarding performance audit of Direct Benefit Transfer was tabled in the Legislative Assembly by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday.

Further, noting that only 83 per cent of the overall transactions done through DBT were successful and 14 per cent of the transactions were rejected, the report says the departments implementing the schemes under DBT failed to rectify and re-initiate the failed transactions.

There were 91,283 transactions awaiting re-initiation despite a lapse of 30 days from the date of failure.

The report also points out that the timeline of delivery of DBT services across the various transaction points was not fixed and there was delay in delivery of services.

The pendency of transactions ranged from 3 to 673 days, it said, adding that failure to initiate necessary action for payment resulted in 6.67 lakh beneficiaries being deprived of financial benefits amounting to Rs 153.30 crore during the period 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Analysis of the DBT also showed instances of credit to bank accounts of persons other than the actual beneficiaries, the report states, while integration with native application and K2 (Kajane 2) for reconciliation was absent resulting in mismatch in data.

Action taken in respect of 21 complaints in this regard received during February to October 2020 for an amount aggregating Rs 12.95 lakh were not on record, it said.

According to the report, the departments were storing Aadhar details in local databases in contravention to the Aadhar Act and related circulars and guidelines.

Also, a centralised public grievances mechanism was not established at the DBT cell to aid the beneficiaries in addressing their grievances across various schemes.

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