Kotkasim cash transfer flops as programme skips Aadhaar
In an area lacking proper transport, Rai must reach his bank located more than 6 km away to collect the cash. He claims that through the whole of last year, he received a meagre R90 in kerosene subsidy. It takes a whole day to visit the bank with his son, who must forgo a day’s wages for this purpose. His verdict: Simply not worth the trouble.
Kishan, who must travel 6-7 km to his bank, has a similar tale to tell. The bank, he says, wants him to maintain a ‘minimum balance’ even though it is supposed to be a zero-balance account. He says that despite maintaining the balance with difficulty, he has not received any cash since the pilot started 12 months ago. Kishan and Rai are among Kotkasim’s hundreds told by the government to buy kerosene at full market price from fair price shops under the assurance that the subsidy would reach their accounts whenever they made the purchase.
Kotkasim started the experiment in December 2011. A year on, most people still don’t have bank accounts. Even those with accounts do not trust the programme, since transfers are erratic.
As a result, most people have stopped buying from fair price shops, bringing the kerosene distribution system to a halt.
“One of the main