Narendar Pani’s argument that direct cash transfers will help the Congress politically (Nov. 29) ignores the larger benefits of the new scheme. It is well known that the disbursements by the Central and State governments by way of subsidies do not reach the beneficiaries in most cases. A sizeable amount is pocketed by various middlemen, including politicians.
Direct cash transfer is an Aadhar-enabled service. The government must roll out many welfare schemes through Aadhar in future. Of course, any new system is bound to have shortfalls and errors but they can be overcome with timely intervention.
Thomas N. Abraham,
Multipliers come into effect even when subsidies are transferred in kind. For example, the government gives money to farmers when it procures foodgrains for the public distribution system. No system can be 100 per cent efficient in a vast country like India. We cannot denounce innovative schemes on the ground that they are not foolproof. The government’s duty is to give subsidies to eligible citizens. There is no need for it to track the cash it transfers. A student getting an educational loan will surely spend it on education.
Almost all issues — imperfections, overreliance on Aadhar, unfamiliarity of villagers with banking transactions, uncertainty over how the cash is used by the beneficiaries, delay in payments — are part of teething trouble. Like any other reform that is implemented on a large scale, the cash transfer scheme will also need to improve in course of time. The money that is transferred into bank accounts as part of cutting subsidy on products will most probably be spent on buying the same products.
Titty Joy George,