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Targeting to the "poor": Clogged pipes and bureaucratic blinkers

Standing, Guy and Jhabvala, Renana (2010) 'Targeting to the "poor": Clogged pipes and bureaucratic blinkers.' Economic & Political Weekly, XLV (26-27). pp. 239-246.

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Abstract

Drawing on a household and village-level community survey of social income, this paper offers a critique of the widespread use of targeting in Indian social policy primarily through the use of the below poverty line card system, to include or exclude groups from access to subsidised goods and sometimes to public works. It argues that targeting is inefficient and inequitable. In India, this situation is largely an outcome of the bureaucratic raj, which has created a vast system of clogged pipes. While successive governments have dismantled state controls and interventions for the private sector, delivery of services, especially to the poor, is still firmly controlled by the same bureaucratic system, with its attendant problems. Given the limitations of targeting, the principle of universalism is worth considering as an alternative.

Item Type: Articles
Additional Information: Published in French as « Le ‘ciblage’ des politiques sociales indiennes : entre inefficacité et iniquité » in L’Inde : une modernité controversée, Alternatives Sud, Vol.8, No.3, 2011, pp.141-149. http://www.cetri.be/IMG/pdf/5-5.pdf
Keywords: India, cash transfers, targeting, poverty, subsidies, ration card
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Depositing User: Guy Standing
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 15:48
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/15672

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