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The Boston Globe

World

India launches new system for handling welfare

NEW DELHI — India will send billions of dollars in social welfare money directly to its poor under a program inaugurated Tuesday that’s designed to cut out middlemen blamed for massive fraud that plagues the current system.

Previously, officials handed out cash only after taking a cut — if they didn’t keep all of it for themselves — and were known to enroll fake recipients or register unqualified people. The new program will see welfare money deposited directly into recipients’ bank accounts and require them to prove their identity with biometric data like fingerprints or retina scans.

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