Government of India may consider exemption from APBS on case to case basis if any Gram Panchayat of a district in the State is having either technical problem or Aadhaar related problem till the resolution of the issue

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It has been noticed by the Ministry that some section of the Newspapers has quoted that “Government should stop weaponizing technology, especially Aadhaar to deny the most vulnerable Indians their social welfare benefits, release delay wage payment and implement open muster roll and social audits to improve transparency.”

Mahatma Gandhi NREGA is a demand driven Scheme and is affected by various economic factors. Total number of registered Job Cards is 14.32 crore, out of which just 9.77 crore (68.22%) is active Job Cards. There is a total of 25.25 crore workers, out of which just 14.32 crore (56.83%) are active workers. The use of different technologies ranging from Space technology/remote sensing to IT enabled technology, has brought a transformation in the implementation of the scheme.

Under the Scheme, now with the help of National Mobile Monitoring System (NMMS) app, the real time attendance of the beneficiaries working at a worksite, is being captured and beneficiaries as well as  any citizen can check the genuiness of the workers. Similarly geotagging of assets using remote sensing technology is ensuring the availability of assets for public scrutiny. National Electronic Fund Management System started in FY 2016-17 to provide wage payment directly into the account of beneficiaries. Currently, more than 99% wage payment is being made directly into the Bank/Post office account of beneficiaries. Such best practices are new for the implementation of the Scheme.

Aadhaar seeding of beneficiary is a continuous process and is done as a de-duplication exercise to authenticate the genuine beneficiaries, to make the benefits of the social welfare schemes available only to the genuine beneficiaries. Out of the total 14.32 crore active workers, Aadhaar seeding of 14.08 crore (98.31%) active workers have already been completed. Against these seeded Aadhaar, a total 13.76 crore Aadhaar have been authenticated and 87.52% active workers are now eligible for APBS.

NPCI data shows that there is higher success percentage to the extent of 99.55% or above where the Aadhaar is enabled for DBT. In case of Account based payment such success is about 98%.

In a working paper released by a Public Research and Advocacy group-LibTech, it has been referred and according to thisit is claimed by some of the researchers that there is no significant gain with ABPS vis-à-vis bank account payments and it is just 3% more in case of ABPS. It needs further clarification that keeping the scale of Mahatma Gandhi NREGS in view, this 3% gain is also a very significant gain. This research by Lib tech endorsed that ABPS process is resulting in the favour of better implementation leading to a greater transparency.

Job card of household can be deleted only in certain specific conditions, but not due to ABPS. Updation/deletion of Job Cards is a regular exercise conducted by the States/UTs. A Job card can be deleted in case, it is a fake job card (incorrect job card)/ duplicate job card/ household not willing to work/ family shifted from Gram Panchayat permanently/ single person in job card and that person is expired. Since, April, 2022 to till date about 2.85 crore Job cards have been deleted by following the due process by the States. States/UTs, Banks, NPCI, PFMS alongwith Civil Society Organisations regarding the APBS and its benefits have been consulted through different forums.

Specific pilot study as well as consultation has been done before the launch of NMMS, Use of Drone for Monitoring and pilot testing of Face Authentication through Aadhaar database in the real time attendance app NMMS. The payment for beneficiary who turns up for wage employment has to be made through APBS. The claim in the statement that 34.8% of total registered workers and 12.7% of active workers are still ineligible for ABPS has no relevance. Because APBS is applicable only in case a registered beneficiary turns ups for wage employment. The Government of India has decided to make the wage payment of unskilled workers through APBS to ensure the payment of beneficiaries into their Bank Accounts, even in case of frequent change of bank account by the beneficiary. In case, if any Gram Panchayat of a district in the State is having either technical problem or Aadhaar related problem, the Government of India may consider exemption from APBS on case to case basis till the resolution of the issue. 



Source PIB