The Case for Direct Cash Transfers to the Poor
The total expenditure on central schemes for the poor and on the major subsidies exceeds the states' share of central taxes. These schemes are chronic bad performers due to a culture of immunity in public administration and weakened local governments. Arguing that the poor should be trusted to use these resources better than the state, a radical redirection with substantial direct transfers to individuals and complementary decentralisation to local governments is proposed. The benefits, risks and associated reinforcement of institutions and accountability are outlined.