The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has opposed the direct cash transfer scheme, saying it will work against the poor.

The scheme is indeed a game changer — as the Congress has described it — because its rules are weighted against the poor, favouring the ruling UPA’s obsession with cutting subsidies, said a statement issued here on Wednesday by the party’s Polit Bureau.

The government had declared that this policy would be extended to food, kerosene and fertilizer once the “system is in place.” At a time when inflation ruled high, cash transfers to replace public goods were a pretext for cutting subsidies, as the cash thus transferred would not cover the increased costs of the subsidised grains. The measure would push up malnutrition and hunger.

The CPI(M) also opposed the linking of wages under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act to the AADHAR card. As it was repeatedly pointed out by experts, biometric identification of manual workers would have a 20 per cent margin of error as their fingerprints kept changing. Senior citizens would face a similar problem. To push for such a shift in policy without any discussion in Parliament on the proposed bill for the Unique Identification Authority was unacceptable.

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