Direct Cash Transfers: What Money Can Buy

“Lottery si lag gayi [it’s as if I have won a lottery],” says Nagina, a beneficiary of the Delhi government’s Annashree scheme, which gives poor families without access to ration shops Rs 600 a month, no questions asked. This is the difference between the subsidised price of food sold through ration shops and the market price. Nagina earns barely Rs 3,000 a month, working in a readymade garments factory, and lives in a small 100 sq ft room in north-east Delhi’s low-income Sunder Nagri locality, which is only slightly better than a slum.