Centre says Aadhaar Payments Bridge System is the best route for making wage payment through DBT
Once Aadhaar is updated in the scheme database, the beneficiary will automatically receive the money transferred to the linked account number without having to update the account number, the rural development ministry said.
The government said on Wednesday that the Aadhaar Payments Bridge System (APBS) is the best route for crediting the amount of money as wages into the bank accounts of beneficiaries under the central Mahatma Gandhi NREGA—or MGNREGA—rural employment guarantee programme. It found, in consultation with various stakeholders, that the Aadhaar Payments Bridge System, a payments system based on the biometric-based Aadhaar personal identification programme, will avoid rejections and ensure timely payment of wages to the intended beneficiaries under the employment guarantee scheme, according to an official statement.
The Aadhaar Payments Bridge System (APBS) is in use under the MGNREGA scheme since 2017.
The government noticed instances of several wage payment transactions being rejected by the destination bank, owing to reasons such as:
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- Frequent changes in the bank account number by the beneficiary
- Failure to update the new account number by the concerned programme officer
- Failure to submit details of the new account by the beneficiary within due time time
“APBS is helping the genuine beneficiaries to get their due payment and is instrumental in curbing corruption by weeding out fake beneficiaries,” it said.
The progress of Aadhaar-based Payment System (ABPS) has been reviewed and the mixed route of wage payment (NACH and ABPS route) has been extended till 31st December 2023 or till further order under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.
— Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India (@MoRD_GoI) August 30, 2023
The Centre also extended the scope of payments under a mix of NACH and ABPS modes till December 31, 2023, till further orders, after conducting a review of the Aadhaar-based Payment System (ABPS).
“Mahatma Gandhi NREGA is a demand-driven Scheme and is affected by various economic factors. Proper ecosystem for APBS is in place. Considering the benefits of APBS for beneficiaries, this is the best system to be followed for the payment,” the rural development ministry said.
Once Aadhaar is updated in the scheme database, the beneficiary will automatically receive the money transferred to the linked account number without having to update the account number, it said, adding: “In case of more than one account of the beneficiary, which is rare in the context of MGNREGA, the beneficiary has the choice to select the account.”
The Union ministry also said that applicants seeking work under the MGNREGA employment guarantee scheme should be requested to furnish their Aadhaar number. However, it added, that such potential workers should not be refused an opportunity for not providing the Aadhaar number.
“If a beneficiary does not demand for work, in such cases, her/his status about eligibility for APBS does not affect the demand for work. Job cards cannot be deleted on the basis of reason that the worker is not eligible for APBS,” it added.
The ministry said, citing data from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), that a success rate to the extent of 99.55 per cent or more has been found in cases where the Aadhaar is enabled for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), as against 98 per cent in case of account-based payments.
What is the Aadhaar Payment Bridge System?
Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB): Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB) System, one of the unique payment systems implemented by the NPCI, the country’s flagship payments processor, uses the Aadhaar number as a central key for electronically channelising government benefits and subsidies in the Aadhaar-enabled bank accounts (AEBA) of the intended beneficiaries.
How does the Aadhaar Payments Bridge work?
NPCI creates an Aadhaar mapper in order to facilitate the transfer of funds. The mapper is the backbone of Aadhaar Payments Bridge (APB), in which information on the bank account seeded with the Aadhaar number is maintained.
NPCI then routes the payment to the bank account of the intended DBT beneficiary through the mapper.