Patterns followed by US and UK worth emulating and schemes should be well-formulated and should have sunset clauses aimed at removing inequities, says former Union Home Secretary

Former Union Home Secretary K. Padmanabhaiah has called for making the cash transfer scheme conditional rather than extending it unconditionally as ‘largesse’.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Sustainable Welfare—Responsibilities of political parties’ here on Sunday, he said thousands of crores of rupees were spent on various welfare schemes which were not properly formulated. Referring to the cash transfer scheme, he suggested that it be linked to conditions such as sending children to school and pregnant women seeking institutional delivery.

Pointing out that entitlements were extended on certain criteria related to age, income and employment in the United States, United Kingdom and other developed countries, he asked, “Why not follow what is being done in developed countries ?” Wondering if the current welfare schemes/ entitlements were sustainable, he said there should be proper identification of beneficiaries. He added that schemes should be well-formulated, and that they should have sunset clauses aimed at removing inequities.

BJP national secretary K. Laxman said there was a need to balance between welfare and development programmes. Admitting that populist schemes such as providing colour TVs would not help in eliminating poverty, he said people should be vigilant against programmes aimed at merely garnering votes rather than improving their living conditions.

APCC spokesperson, N. Tulasi Reddy said priorities kept changing in a dynamic society.

K. Kavita, president of Telangana Jagruti, disagreed with the argument that development and welfare were equal. Maintaining that welfare was the responsibility of the government, she demanded a separate budget to meet the basic needs of people in education, health, housing and other sectors.

T. Hanuman Chowdhary, former Telecom advisor to the State government and executive president of Citizen’s Forum, which organised the seminar, also spoke.

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