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From unemployment to sharp declines in GDP, and from growing inequalities to increased risk of violence against women, CGD is examining the impact of the novel coronavirus from all angles. In timely analysis and in-depth research, our experts are assessing the depth and scale of the crisis to help policymakers prioritize the most vulnerable populations.
Together with a lockdown and an information campaign, India’s early response to the Covid-19 pandemic included the launch of PMGKY, a major social protection package. This built on previous digital investments including in direct benefit transfer to financial accounts as well as on several established programs. The paper reports on the implementation of PMGKY, based on a household survey conducted 4-6 weeks after the lockdown and launch of the program. PMGKY successfully delivered benefits to millions of households, including food rations. At the same time, in spite of the information campaign, people did not always realize that payments had been delivered into their accounts while some also faced logistical difficulties in reaching cash-out points because of the severe disruption related to the pandemic and the lockdown.