The world’s largest democracy is the new testing ground for what could be the largest plan for putting cash directly into the hands of the poorest people. Cash transfer programs have been successful in Latin America and parts of Africa, but India could be the best example of how to deliver these programs on a large scale.
It’s certainly a gargantuan task. But, overall, it’s a good initiative, with the long-term benefits outweighing the very real obstacles it faces. The most significant impact could be the network of agents (or business correspondents) that will be created to service the transfer system. They could potentially support the other financial needs of the poor, helping India move closer to the goal of true financial inclusion.