India’s shift towards direct benefit transfers (DBTs) is on the fast track. According to official statements, in the 2015-16 fiscal year the central government deposited nearly $5 billion of subsidy and welfare payments directly into the bank accounts of 300 million beneficiaries. It has also set an ambitious target to transfer all payments to the Aadhaar-based biometric DBT platform by the end of 2017. This will surely be the greatest subsidy reform in the world, but we need more data to accurately evaluate its impact.
CGD Policy Blogs
The biometrics revolution has allowed more countries to create strong ID systems for their citizens. These systems have mostly relied on fingerprinting, but with the advent of low-cost, highly effective iris readers this is about to change.