mauro: India’s direct benefit transfer scheme is a logistical marvel: IMF Paola Mauro

A senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has applauded India for its seamless direct benefit transfer programme.

India’s case is “quite impressive” given the “sheer size” of the country, said Paolo Mauro, deputy director of the fiscal affairs department, responding to a question on its successful implementation by the government.

Mauro was addressing a news conference during the 2022 annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Washington.

Screenshot 2022-10-14 004423ET Bureau

“If I look at the case of India, it is actually quite impressive. In fact, just because of the sheer size of the country, it is a logistical marvel how these programmes that seek to help people who are at low-income levels reach literally hundreds of millions of people,” Mauro said. These programmes specifically target women, the elderly, and farmers, he added.

“Perhaps, the interesting part is that in these examples there is a lot of technological innovation. In the case of India, one thing that is striking is the use of the unique identification system, the Aadhaar,” he added.

Mauro said even in other countries there is increased usage of sending money through mobile banking to those in the low-income group who own a cell phone. “So, being somewhat innovative in identifying people, in processing their applications for transfers through digital means, deploying funds through, again, mobile banking. This is something that countries can learn from each other. We also try here to be a little bit of a convening place where people can compare these types of experiences,” he said.

Vitor Gaspar, director in the fiscal affairs department, said IMF was collaborating with India “in that context, as one of the most inspiring examples of the application of technology to solve very complicated issues of targeting support to the people who need it most.”

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