As part of the Government of India’s pilots of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), MSC conducted three progress assessments. The assessments were conducted as follows: 1. Baseline: August 2015; 2. Mid-line assessment October 2015; and 3. Final in January 2016.

It was clear that the progress was chequered and a number of areas need to be streamlined before the pilot could be scaled up and implemented elsewhere. Our final assessment once again shows mixed results across the key indicators; 1) beneficiary awareness; 2) access to banking; 3) use of subsidy amount; 4) access to markets; 5) subsidy sufficiency; 6) grievance redressal.

As and when DBT in TPDS is to be scaled up, the following should be looked into: 1) DBT amount to be market linked; 2) access to markets and banking is ensured; 3) intimation to beneficiaries of subsidy transfer; 4) DBT to female account holders to avoid diversions.

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