Washington: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday hailed the deployment of the cash transfer scheme in India and described it as a "logistical marvel" considering the sheer size of the country.
Addressing a Fiscal Monitor Press Briefing, IMF's Deputy Director of Fiscal Affairs Department Paolo Mauro said the global lender has several examples of how companies deploy cash transfers and "there is a lot to learn" from India. The top IMF official made this comment on the sidelines of annual meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG).
Mauro said, "From India, there is a lot to learn. There is a lot to learn from some other examples around the world."
"We have examples from pretty much every continent and every level of income. If I look at the case of India, it is actually quite impressive," he said.
Underlining the sheer size of the country, the top IMF official said it is a "logistical marvel" how these programs that seek to help people who are at low-income levels reach literally hundreds of millions of people.
"There are programs that target specifically women. There are programs that target the elderly, farmers," he said in response to a question on India's cash transfer schemes," he added.
The IMF official also pointed to the success of a lot of technological innovations in India and the use of the unique identification system, the Aadhaar, in making the cash transfer scheme a success.
IMF's Director of Fiscal Affairs Department Vitor Gaspar said, "we are collaborating with India in that context as one of the most inspiring examples of the application of technology to solve very complicated issues of targeting support to the people who need it most."
This praise for India's cash transfer scheme comes as the country continues to maintain its position as the fastest-growing major economy in the world.
In its latest World Economic Outlook report, the IMF noted, "The outlook for India is for growth of 6.8 per cent in 2022, a 0.6 percentage point downgrade since the July forecast, reflecting a weaker-than-expected outturn in the second quarter (April-June) and more subdued external demand."
In its July 2022 report, the IMF had pegged India's GDP growth for 2022 at 7.4 per cent. The IMF latest projection on India's GDP growth is lower than the 7 per cent growth pegged by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the financial year 2022-23.