The Centre on Wednesday launched three new technology initiatives to transfer over Rs 70,000-crore fertiliser subsidy directly to farmers' bank accounts.
These initiatives are -- a dashboard with details of fertiliser supply, availability and requirement at national, state and district level; advanced version of point of sale (PoS) software and a desktop PoS version.
These are part of the government's effort to transfer the fertiliser subsidy directly to farmers' bank accounts in the second phase of direct benefit transfer (DBT).
In October 2017, the first phase of fertiliser DBT was rolled out, under which subsidy is being transferred to companies after checking retail sales data captured through the PoS machines.
"The new initiatives will certainly ensure improvement in our effort to reach out to the farmers. This will lead to transparency in the fertiliser sector," Fertiliser Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said after the launch of DBT 2.0.
The government has been able to curb leakage and black marketing of fertilisers because of the DBT, he said.
The second-phase initiatives are aimed at further improving the DBT system, Gowda said, adding that few more initiatives will be taken in the coming months.
"We are planning few more initiatives. We will take action to address each and every area of concern of the farmers and endure farmers income is doubled," he added.
Echoing views, Minister of State for Fertiliser Mansukh L Mandaviya said, "Today we are giving subsidy directly to companies. Time will come, we will give directly to farmers."
Elaborating more on new initiatives, Fertiliser Secretary Chhabilendra Roul said the government has developed the 'PoS software version 3.0' has a multi-lingual facility with a provision for Aadhar virtual identification option during use for registration, login and sale activity in the DBT software.
It has provision for soil health card recommendation and also captures sale to farmers, mixture manufacturers, planter association separately, he said.
Till now, 13 versions of PoS software has been released to improve the PoS operations. PoS are installed in 2.24 lakh retail fertiliser shops in the country.
To address the operation challenges of PoS machines, the Secretary said the desktop PoS version has been developed as an "alternative or added facility' to the existing PoS devices.
Retailers with laptops and computer systems can use high speed broadband service for fertiliser sales. The desktop software is more robust and secure, he said.
Whereas the 'DBT dashboard' provides accurate information about the position of supply, availability and requirement of various fertiliser at national, state and district level. Even general public can access this and get the details, he added.
The Centre bears over Rs 70,000 crore annually as fertiliser subsidy to give cheaper farm nutrient to farmers.