- The direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme for nutritional support to Tuberculosis (TB) patients — Nikshay Poshan Yojana (NPY) — rolled out from April this year has recorded slow progress in the last eight months.
- Of the 18 lakh registered TB patients across the country, only 4.69 lakh, barely 26% of the beneficiary pool, have received cash transfer so far.
- Of the total registered patients, the bank account details of only 9 lakh patients are available with the Central TB division so far.
- This is because many of the rural poor either do not have a bank account or are migrant patients, whose bank accounts are difficult to be captured.
- There is no dearth of funds for the DBT scheme under NPY.
- Although funds are not set aside for DBT, available funds can be used for all activities approved under the State plans. We have asked the States to expedite collecting bank account details of all registered patients under their jurisdiction.
Transfer to blood relative:
- The Joint Secretary has asked the State TB officials to transfer the benefits of NPY to the patient’s blood relative (spouse, parents, siblings) if he/she does not have an account in his/her own name.
- In case the beneficiary does not have an account in his/her own name, but a family member (spouse, parents, brother/sister /blood relatives) has a bank account, the health staff/treatment supporter can transfer the benefits of NPY to the account of a family member by obtaining an undertaking from the beneficiary,
- Also for beneficiaries who do not have a bank account even in his family member’s name, provision of opening zero balance bank account is available under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Indian Postal Bank.
- The District Magistrates/Collectors should ensure that zero balance bank accounts for the TB patients are opened expeditiously.
- The District TB officers should coordinate with the Lead Bank manager, nodal officer for PMJDY and Postal Bank in the district.