Cash transfer scheme gets global praise

OECD deputy head pats India’s back for cash transfer scheme, says nation should also set goals beyond GDP

trithesh

Trithesh Nandan | January 30, 2013



The Paris-based think tank, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), has praised India for rolling out its ambitious scheme, direct cash transfer, from January 1, 2013.

“The cash transfer scheme is a right idea…It can do several things better. The programme has been successful in many Latin American countries,” said OECD deputy secretary general Richard Boucher on Wednesday at a lecture organised by Delhi-based think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF). Termed as ‘game changer’ by the policymakers, the direct cash transfer scheme, now known as direct benefits transfer scheme, was rolled out in 20 districts of the country earlier this month. In the next two months, the government plans to roll out in another 23 districts.

However, Boucher had a word of advice for the government. “The government should target social support schemes. The cash transfer scheme should be carefully designed so that it helps towards welfare of the families,” said Boucher who also served in the US administration as the assistant secretary of state for south and central Asia between 2006 and 2009.

Commenting on current state of economy, he said that India needs to look at goals beyond GDP. “There are new challenges as the international economy outlook seems to be very hesitant. There is widening income gaps. So in that case policy needs to be revised. We have to set new goals beyond the GDP,” he said. The OECD, a group of developed nations mostly, is looking forward to working with India for promoting more inclusive growth.

“India’s growth has weakened. In such an environment, India’s policy should be attractive to domestic as well as foreign investors. They have to also know that environment is conducive,” he added.

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