Column : Making cash transfers work
Ironically, what is common between the government’s script of the cash transfer scheme and its opponents is their mistrust of the poor. Both seem to believe that the poor will drink away their cash or spend it irresponsibly. The government displays its mistrust by imposing conditionalities and through them engineer the so-called responsible behaviour, while the opponents do so by upholding ‘in-kind transfers’ such as grain or bricks as opposed to cash.
What is wrong with the conditionalities that the government seeks to impose? They immediately bring into the picture a bureaucratic procedure to approve and monitor compliance, which in turn paves the way for monitors or certifiers at the muscle-end of the bureaucracy. This then produces a system of patronage at the street-level through the political party channels. This is a recipe for erosion of the welfare benefit or subsidy
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