Microfinance Paper Scroll-Upward: “Digital Cash Transfers For Stranded Migrants,” By Anit Mukherjee, Published By Centre For Global Evolution

In low-cal of efforts past authorities entities to assist internal migrants inside Bharat whose lives take been disrupted past the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Mukherjee argues that “dissimilar countries such every bit Brazil or Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of India does non hold a unified beneficiary database or social registry that could alive used to position, target, register together with pay those inward accept of assistance.” The bureaucracy of Bharat’s social assistance programs, which are fragmented amongst various departments together with ministries, created barriers to delivering COVID-19 relief to workers that take migrated from villages to cities. 

Launched inwards April 2020 past the ground of Bihar, the Corona Sahayata (Assistance) programme distributed welfare transfers of INR 1,000 (USD 15) direct to the depository financial institution accounts of migrants from Bihar who were stranded outside the state. Workers could register through a mobile application or yesteryear contacting the Bihar State Disaster Management Agency. Many migrants were unable to utilize the programme because they operate inwards the informal sector inward improver to could non introduce proof of residence exterior Bihar or of having a banking concern business concern relationship registered inward Bihar. Within a calendar month of the programme’s launch, ii.ix ane G grand people submitted applications, and – every flake of May 24 – 2.0 million were paid through India’s Direct Benefit Transfer platform. 

As shortcomings of the programme, Mr Mukherjee notes the limited amount of cash assistance together with difficulties inwards verifying depository financial institution accounts. Without judging the efficiency of the programme, the author approves “of a sub-national authorities’s endeavor to identify, onboard in addition to pay a specific segment of the population (ie, migrants) adversely affected past the pandemic, doing together with and then remotely, at scale likewise without the benefit of an existing database, using a ‘digital start’ identification inward improver to payments approach to transfer funds quickly as well as efficiently.”

This is a summary of a paper past Anit Mukherjee, published yesteryear Center for Global Development, October 2020, seven pages, available at https://www.cgdev.org/publication/digital-cash-transfers-stranded-migrants-lessons-bihars-covid-19-assistance-plan 

By Romil Pandey, Research Associate

Additional Resources

Center for Global Development homepage

Government of Republic of India, Direct Benefit Transfer platform homepage

Did y’all know that MicroCapital publishes the MicroCapital Monitor paper each calendar month? Find out more at harus di isiproducts-page.