Budget Brief 2017-18: Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM)

By Vikram Srinivas and Avani Kapur
25 January 2017

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) is a Government of India (GOI) initiative to transfer cash benefits such as wage payments, subsidies and incentives for a number of government programmes directly into bank accounts of beneficiaries through electronic systems. DBT was designed with the objective of minimising delays in fund flows, ensuring accurate targeting of beneficiaries, and curbing leakage and duplication. A key role in large-scale, real-time implementation of DBT has been envisaged for the JAM trinity: Jan Dhan accounts, Aadhaar numbers and Mobile numbers. Jan Dhan bank accounts aim to ensure universal financial inclusion, Aadhaar numbers provide a means for identification and authentication, and mobile banking offers an alternative mechanism of payment and withdrawal.

Using government data, this brief reports on the following parameters:

  • Trends in coverage of DBT and JAM
  • Extent to which these are being used by government and citizens.