On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the seventh instalment of benefits under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). PM Modi transferred more than Rs 18,000 crores to more than 9 crores beneficiary farmers via video conferencing on December 25, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
However, the usual suspects in the social media, the Congress trolls and the naysayers were sceptical about the transfers made to the farmers directly by the Prime Minister and chose to spread misinformation about the transfers by claiming that the transfer did not happen at all.
Saket Gokhale, a fan of Gandhi-scion Rahul Gandhi, on Saturday took to Twitter to display his lack of knowledge about the procedure of Direct Benefit Transfer scheme. In hurry to impress his followers, Saket Gokhale put up misinformation on Twitter by claiming that Prime Minister Modi indulged in a PR event by doing a mass transfer of the amount to farmers under PM-KISAN scheme on a bank holiday.
According to Saket Gokhale, PM Modi fooled the public by attempting to transfer to farmer’s bank account on December 25, a bank holiday for Christmas. Gokhale, who has no idea whatsoever about public policy issues and technical aspects attached to it, perhaps thought that no bank transaction will happen on scheduled government-notified holidays or weekends.
Just as Gokhale, fellow Congress trolls, Islamists, who share same IQ as him, too peddled same conspiracy theory to claim that the whole event was a nothing but PR and contended that transfers cannot happen to the farmers on Friday as it was a bank holiday.
However, several social media users and beneficiaries took to Twitter to immediately debunk the propaganda of Congress IT cell members like Saket Gokhale. Many beneficiaries shared the screenshots of the text messages and acknowledgement they received from their respective banks as soon as it was credited with Rs 2000 under PM-KISAN scheme.
हे काय आहे मग.— Ranjeet Lungare Patil (@ranjeet_l) December 26, 2020
तुमच्यासारख्या लिब्रांडूना दुसरे काही काम धंदे नाहीत का र मोदी च्या नावानं गांड खाजवून घेण्याशिवाय. pic.twitter.com/DdRNnVLjaG
Here is another screenshot with images of text sent by banks to beneficiaries of Rs. 2000 on December 25 under PM-KISAN scheme.
Modi se itna problem accha nahi.. see the message received to people yesterday.. attaching screenshot.. ab ye secret Santa to nahin deke gaya… pic.twitter.com/WxidOzQgOV— Shitanshu (@CAshitanshu1989) December 26, 2020
The above screenshots clearly prove how the transfers have happened on the same day, just hours after PM Modi, on a special occasion, transferred the seventh instalment of funds under the PM-KISAN scheme.
Can the government not transfer the amount to beneficiaries on a bank holiday? Read details
The likes of Saket Gokhale and other minions of the Congress party, often show much desperation to prove their knowledge, however, end up being over smart just as their leader Rahul Gandhi. Amusingly, Rahul Gandhi’s ardent fan Saket Gokhale thinks that the benefits under any scheme are sent manually to each beneficiary by depositing the amount to the bank accounts of each one of them individually.
Gokhale, even after getting caught, furthered his theories by suggesting that the transfers cannot happen on the day of a holiday and asked a social media user to check the RBI rules.
Nevertheless, let us try and help them understand the actual procedures behind the transfers to the beneficiaries of any scheme under the present DBT system.
How does the DBT system work?
First, the central Government announces Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) under selected schemes for different beneficiaries based on their eligibility under the scheme. The DBT system has three main procedures. First, they identify the beneficiaries, second, they validate and upload the data on a platform to map it onto the banking system. Finally, they transfer it to the intended beneficiaries using the banking system.
At first, a list of beneficiaries is prepared by the respective ministries and then upload it to a platform known as ‘The Public Finance Management System (PFMS)’. The PFMS is an end-to-end solution for processing payments, tracking, monitoring, accounting, reconciliation and reporting. The portal, which is implemented by the Controller General of Accounts, is administered by the Department of Expenditure.
As the list of beneficiaries and the amount to be sent to them is sanctioned by the respective ministries, the list is uploaded to the PFMS platform. The PFMS architecture is built in such a way that it has the details of beneficiaries such has his/her Aadhaar identity, bank account details etc, thus eliminating the existing intervening layers. The registration/uploading of the beneficiaries list into the PFMS only happens after internal validation of their bank accounts and Aadhar account so that the benefit does not reach wrong hands.
This is a pre-transfer procedure, to be carried out by the Department of Expenditure in the Ministry of Finance. These verification, uploading procedures are carried out in advance, a few days before the actual transfers take place. In the case of PM-KISAN, the PFMS will already have uploaded data of the beneficiaries as this transfer was the seventh instalment under the scheme. The data of beneficiaries is validated and uploaded already in the run-up to the transfer of the first instalment, thus taking very little time during the subsequent transfers.
The biggest strength of PFMS is its integration with the core banking system in the country. As a result, PFMS has this unique capability to push online payments to almost every beneficiary/vendor. At present, PFMS interface is having the interface in addition to the Core Banking System (CBS) of all Public Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks, major private sector banks, Reserve Bank of India, India post and cooperative banks.
The beneficiary list on the PFMS platform is then mapped onto the National Payments Corporation of India’s platform, which initiates the transferring of funds to the respective bank accounts of the beneficiaries. NCPI, a not-for-profit organisation set up by RBI, is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India.
As the list gets mapped on their platform, the NPCI specifically instructs the banks to certify and approve the transfers to the beneficiary account. Usually, the day of approval and certification to be done by the bank is notified by the NPCI much earlier. According to the sources who have dealt extensively in clearing such transfers, the NPCI informs all the banks in advance pertaining to the date of release of transfers and asks them to be present at their respective offices to clear the transfers on that specific day.
Secondly, the NPCI sends a bulk-encrypted file, each consisting of nearly 19,000 beneficiaries to be processed at their central clearing branches. The NPCI has set up a secured different platform, independent of the existing RTGS/NEFT architecture to carry out such DBT transactions. Contrary to the claims of Saket Gokhale, the transfers are not made using RTGS or NEFT architecture. Instead, the payments are made through ECS using the Aadhar-Based Platform System of NPCI or the Automated Clearing House. Therefore, the DBT payment is not affected by restrictions of RTGS or NEFT.
It is extremely clear from the above that the DBT system is much different than an actual banking transaction architecture. The transfers under DBT system has a different architecture and is real-time. These bank transfers can happen on any day or given time, with the prior approval of the central government and subsequent orders from NPCI to the respective banks.
A source at one of the public-sector banks, who was asked by NPCI to be present on December 25 said to OpIndia that they were specifically asked to be at the bank on Friday, despite being a public holiday, to approve DBT payments as it was a holiday and free from carrying out other retail banking services.
Thus, the conspiracy theories of Saket Gokhale and his followers, claiming that the whole PM-KISAN transfers on Friday was a PR event and nobody received any funds as it was a bank holiday, is a blatant lie that has no takers.