2013 could have been a watershed year for G2P (government to person) transfers as the Government of India (GoI) decided to use the Aadhaar unique identification system for Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs). However, the recent decision to suspend the DBT scheme for liquid petroleum gas LPG cylinders (popularly known as DBTL) seems set to reverse this. What went wrong in the 12 months since the launch of this ambitious scheme, prompting the GoI to suspend implementation completely? We need to understand the context and dissect the process of DBT to assess this. There is evidence that Aadhaar-based DBT brought in efficiencies wherever a supportive eco-system was provided. Aadhaar-based DBT needs more sustained and coordinated effort from local government, banks and business correspondents to realise its potential.

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