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Biometric identification for subsidy will reduce poverty: Survey

Posted on Jul 09 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, July 9 : The new technologies of biometric identification and mobile phone payments for various subsidy schemes will lead to poverty reduction, India's Economic Survey for 2013-14 said Wednesday.

"The new technologies of biometric identification and payments through mobile phones have created a range of new possibilities for the design of programmes. These would lead to a reduction in poverty at lower cost when compared with the present subsidy programmes," said the survey, presented in parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley a day ahead of the general budget for 2014-15.

According to the survey, the new technologies will make it increasingly feasible to identify households below the poverty line and give them cash.

"Programmes such as food subsidy have huge overhead costs. In other cases, such as fertiliser subsidy, the expenditures generate a distorted resource allocation that hampers productivity. Besides, not all the money put into a subsidy scheme reaches the poor," added the survey.

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