Eminent economist and Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen has said the Union government’s cash transfer scheme can be a useful system to supplement other ways of making India a less unequal society, “but it is not a magic bullet, and its pros and cons have to be assessed and scrutinized with an open mind.”
In an interview to The Hindu, Dr. Sen said the modality of cash transfer is not the only issue “but also how much, and for whom, and also, instead of what?”
He sounded a note of caution in cash transfer of food subsidies, saying direct access to food often helps reaching nutrition to children and girls. But when the subsidy is given as cash directly it may benefit adults and boys more due to biased social priorities in Indian society.
Dr. Sen said the transition delays in cash transfer could cause extreme hardship to people, many of whom lead a hand-to-mouth existence.