UPA dubbed it as a Game Changer, opposition termed it as ‘Political Gimmik’  if you’re a regular news hungry ‘being by now you’d have understood what I’m talking about. Direct Cash transfer, first, I’m glad that they’re no Gandhian prefix or suffix. More seriously, this scheme is aimed at replacing the age old subsidies by directly giving money to the deprived. It is a known fact that GOI in many occasions stated the need of bringing down the subsidy load on GDP.

Put aside the timing of the DCT. More serious question would be, will it achieve what it is expected to? May or May not.

DCT was a brain child of two Mexican scholars. In the year 1997, when mexico was facing serious economic downturn the then Mexican government has decided to set up a mechanism to address the economic issues. The two gentlemen with tons of technical information and statics gave presentations to all the stake holders which eliminated the air of mi trust and skepticism  Though, India has imported the idea of DCT did it import the same determination to implement  is the question!

Mexican government though in serious mess, didn’t rush up the scheme instead they set up a field study to evaluate the pros and cons involved. Weighted the pros and cons and initiated the project which turned out to be the most useful step. Field study helped to point out the leakage points, target points and accordingly the experts framed a policy.

DCT is based on UID.  So, people who are BPL and have UID will benefit from the scheme. But, does all the BPL people have UID? No straight answer. We cannot afford to make our best guess for a scheme of this magnitude. The intention may be good but without proper plan intention will not lead anywhere. Also, one more important pre-requisite is bank account. The money will be directly credited to the persons bank account. Question here is how many BPL people have bank account?  ‘Swabhiman’ is aimed at establishing bank in small towns there by encouraging people to open bank accounts. If you pull the data from this scheme it is abundantly clear that the not all BPL people have bank accounts. Now, if you sum up the number of people who don’t have UID and Bank Account I bet that wouldn’t be negligible.

Indian context is quite in contrast, it seems like GOI is in Rush Hour mode to introduce the scheme. No field studies done, more importantly the point of leakages haven’t been identified. Without which it would be pouring water into an already obsolete pot which will eventually flow out.

I personally, don’t think that DCT will address the core issue. Instead it will soon turn out to be a scheme difficult to handle for the current and future FM’s which is nothing but wasting the resources of nation. For a scheme of this magnitude government should have conducted field work by experts which would help the government to devise a proper road map.

Can we afford to go forward with such huge discrepancies?  Aren’t we diluting the  scheme?  Shouldn’t the government be using more robust mechanisms to study the ground realities instead of hurrying the  scheme ?

Questions are many. Scheme is new. But will it make through?

 

 

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