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Cash incentive programme fails to reap benefits for ultra-poor

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14th-Aug-2020       
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THE Parliamentary Standing Committee on Disaster Management and Relief Ministry expressed concern over the government's cash incentive programme for the rural extreme poor on Wednesday. Following the ninth meeting of the committee on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Standing Committee stated that the poor people were not benefited by the government's employment generation programme intended for ultra-poor people, as per local reports.
According to the chairman of the parliamentary committee the Union parishad chairmen, in many cases, are misappropriating the fund. The chairmen show false bank accounts, as required for getting the wage under the programme to misappropriate the fund.
The cash incentive distribution operations ran into controversy following the disclosure of over eight lakh fake bank accounts in May. The incentives were intended to be distributed among 50 lakh poor families from the Prime Minister's Office. The Local Government and Rural Development Ministry has suspended 114 upazila parishad and union parishad chairmen and members for misappropriating relief materials and funds.
All of this is nothing new. In a country where policemen round up people to take bribes from them and local administration leaders steal from the government coffers at every turn we stated when the programme was announced that it was doubtful that the money would reach the hardcore poor.
This tendency to use public cash for private benefit is nothing new for public officials. We need an authority to watch over them. With a toothless ACC and the fact that the administration is heavily reliant on the bureaucracy it is not too difficult to understand that no one is overtly worried about losing their jobs if found out. After all the money which they have misappropriated is enough to last them for a lifetime --- and they have no fears about the government going after their black money.
The only way to stop black money is to ensure that it can never be whitened --- but the government is repeatedly giving the scope to whiten money in all sorts of manner. Thus no incentive exists for the vast majority of those who earn black money to declare it. They know that their chance to whiten it will come sooner or later, This makes a mockery of the citizens who are paying taxes honestly on their hard earned money. No wonder our black money is between 54-82 percent of our GDP.

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