Nearly 11 lakh people have benefitted from the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, which began on January 1, and will be rolled out throughout the country during the UPA regime, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said in his budget speech on Thursday.

At present the scheme is being implemented in 20 districts.

“The ‘Aapka paisa aapke haath’ [your money in your hand] initiative has caught the imagination of the [people], especially the poor. All around us we see the smiles on the faces of Dalit girls and tribal boys who have received their scholarships. We see happiness on the faces of the pregnant women who are assured that the government cares. Why should anyone oppose it?”

The Minister said efforts were on to ensure that a bank account was opened for each beneficiary and it was seeded with Aadhaar in due course. “We are redoubling our efforts to make available digitised beneficiary lists.”

The scheme seeks to directly transfer subsidies and social welfare payments, including pensions and scholarships, to banks.

However, fertilizer and food subsidies are not covered under the programme.