Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda launched the Phase-II of the Direct Benefit Transfer of Fertilizer Subsidy (DBT 2.0), here today. Minister of State for Shipping (IC) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya also graced the occasion. The Department of Fertilizers (DoF) has implemented the Phase-I of the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system in fertilizer subsidy pan-India in Fertilizers w.e.f. March 2018.
Talking about Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Less Government, More Governance, Shri Gowda said that only by bringing transparency in the administration can the Government bring a positive change in lives of the people. DBT in fertilizer subsidy is such a step in the direction of bringing ease of living in the lives of farmers through the use of modern technology and plugging leakages, pilferages and black marketing, the Minister added.
The new initiatives of DBT 2.0 are as under:
- DBT Dashboards: In order to facilitate accurate information gathering and decision-making w.r.t. the position of requirement/supply/availability of various fertilizers at National, State and District levels, the DoF has developed various dashboards. These dashboards provide various reports regarding the Fertilizer Stock position at ports, plants, in States, at District levels; Proportionate requirement for the season and availability of stocks at various levels; Top 20 buyers; Frequent buyers; Retailers not selling fertilizers, etc. The reports would facilitate real-time monitoring of the availability and sale of fertilizers within each State/UT. The public can access the dashboards by clicking the e-urvarak website of DoF (www.urvarak.nic.in).
- PoS 3.0 Software: The Multi-lingual facility would provide Aadhar virtual ID option for registration, login and sale activity in DBT software. It would also have a provision for area-specific, crop-specific recommendations based on Soil Health Care (SHC) data. Further, it would capture sale to farmers, mixture manufacturers, planter association separately.
- Desktop PoS Version: Keeping in view the various operational challenges viz. limited PoS vendors, the rush of sales due to peak season, etc. the department has developed a multilingual desktop version of PoS software as an alternative or added facility to PoS devices. Retailers with laptops and computer systems can use high-speed broadband service for fertilizer sales. The Desktop software is more robust and secure as the application is developed and handled directly from the central HQ team at DoF.
Addressing the gathering, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya laid stress on e-governance as a platform to achieve good governance in the country. Talking about the new initiatives under DBT 2.0, the Minister said that these by the implementation of the second phase of DBT, the system would become more transparent and the penetration of fertilizer subsidy would further be increased in the country.
Phase-I DBT system in Fertilizers (DBT 1.0) envisaged the release of 100% subsidy on various fertilizer grades to the fertilizer companies on the basis of actual sales made by the retailer to the beneficiaries. The Phase-II of DBT will explore the feasibility of direct cash transfer to farmer’s accounts. An expert committee under NITI Aayog has been constituted on 28.09.2017 as per the request of the DoF, to suggest a model for the implementation of phase-2.
A Project Monitoring Cell was set up at DoF to oversee implementation of DBT exclusively. 24 State Coordinators have been appointed across all States to monitor the on-going DBT activities.
Implementation of the DBT Scheme requires the deployment of PoS devices at every retailer shop, training of retailers for operating PoS device. Across the country, Lead Fertilizer Supplier (LFS) have conducted 8943 training sessions to date. 2.24 Lakh PoS devices have been deployed across all States. 670.99 Lakh Metric tonnes Fertilizers have been sold through PoS devices till June 2019.
To address network connectivity issues, DoF has come up with various options as under:
- PoS devices were provided with multiple connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, LAN, PSTN, SIM, etc.
- A network survey/assessment can be conducted at retail shops, to identify the telecom service providers having good connectivity in that area.
- Simple measures such as attaching an antenna to the PoS device can give better signal reception.
To address peak season sales, a single retailer can install more than one PoS device at the retail point. There is a provision to use maximum up to 5 PoS devices at a single retail point under DBT system.
Further, a dedicated 15-member Multi-lingual Help Desk has been set up to provide quick response to the queries of a wide range of stakeholders across the country as a preparatory to DBT implementation. The helpdesk will operate from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm on all working days including Saturdays. The toll-free number of the helpdesk is 1800115501. Further, WhatsApp is being used extensively for quick response to the grievances of various stakeholders.
To address the issues of malfunctioning PoS devices, separate toll-free lines have been provided by PoS vendors viz., Visiontek, Analogic, and Oasys. Dedicated manpower/vendor support system has been provided by the PoS vendors across all States. Further, DBT State Coordinators have been appointed by DoF in every State/UT to monitor the implementation of DBT and for quick resolution of hardware/software problems.
Dignitaries on the dais included Secretary, Fertilizers, Shri Chhabilendra Roul, Additional Secretary, Fertilizers, Shri Dharam Pal. The gathering comprised of the who’s who of fertilizer sector including CMDs of Fertilizer Cos., along with senior officers of DoF.