New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) The Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme will be expanded to include Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh, where biometric data is being collected under the National Population Register.
This decision was taken at a meeting Friday on DBT by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here to review the rollout of the programme.
The collection of biometrics in these states will be accelerated to cover 70-80 percent of the population by June. DBT will be rolled out July 1.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani.
The next phase of the rollout will cover 78 districts based on the lists given by the UIDAI and the registrar general of India.
States which were not covered in Phase I and will be covered now are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
More districts will be included in Kerala, Punjab, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand, which had been covered in the first phase.
In addition to these, the three pension schemes for old age, disability and widows will now be covered under DBT in all the covered districts.
DBT will be expanded to include post offices and schemes run through post office accounts from October 1.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is working on rolling out DBT of LPG subsidy in a phased manner. There will be a phased rollout beginning with one district and expanding to 20 districts by May 15.
The number of LPG consumers in the country is 14 crore, and as the scheme rolls out, the subsidy amount will be transferred to consumers directly into their bank accounts.
With the subsidy being credited directly, there will be only one price at which cylinders will be sold at a dealer's shop. This will eliminate all ghost connections and diversion of cylinders, an official said.
The DBT has been described by the Congress as a game-changer ahead of the next general elections.