Column : Beware of the new privy purses
Over the years, we have witnessed a substantial capture of such central funds by newly-empowered elites at the state and district levels to the exclusion of the majority of the very poor. The direct cash transfer programme, if implemented well, could prove to be the biggest assault on the cosy arrangement which enabled the local political and business elites to capture a big chunk of central funds. Indeed, if undertaken properly, it could prove to be the most critical structural reform ever undertaken in recent decades. And what’s more, it is on the expenditure side of the government balance sheet, a long overdue reform.
In terms of its radical potential, the cash transfer programme could have as much resonance as the abolition of privy purses by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The one big difference is Indira Gandhi had abolished the privy purses held by the
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