The Economic Survey of India, 1997

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Social Sectors

1.  The Common Minimum Programme (CMP) announced by the Government in June, 1996 has shown strong commitment to the development of Social Sectors for achieving distributive justice. This commitment is reflected in the increase in Central Plan and non-Plan allocations in the 1996-97 budget. The allocation for Plan and non-Plan expenditure on social services as a ratio of GDP at market prices has risen to a record high at 1.19 per cent in 1996-97 (BE) as compared to 0.96 per cent in 1995-96 and 0.91 per cent in 1992-93. An additional amount of Rs.2466 crore of Central assistance to States and UT plans has also been allocated in 1996-97 budget for expenditure on basic minimum services as indicated in Box 10.1.

2.  The Central Plan allocations for social sectors and poverty alleviation programmes given in Table 10.1 indicate that the budget allocation for Education increased by 85.6 per cent in 1996-97 over 1995-96 (BE) with the outlay for Elementary Education going up by 247.8 per cent. The substantial increase in allocation for Elementary Education in 1996-97 budget is mainly due to Nutritional Support to Primary Education for which an outlay of Rs.612 crore was provided in the revised budget estimates for 1995-96 and the same has been raised to Rs.1400 crore in 1996-97(BE). The allocation for Health was raised by 21.6 per cent in 1996-97 budget. The Central Plan outlay for Rural Development encompassing the major programmes for poverty alleviation was increased by 12.1 per cent in 1996-97 over 1995-96 (BE).

3. The basic indicators of human development given in Table 10.2 indicate that the birth and death rates have decreased in 1995 over 1994, but the infant mortality rate remained invariant at 74 during the last three years. The overall tentative trends during the 1990s seem to suggest that except the economic crisis years of 1991 and 1992, the subsequent recovery brought about an improvement in living standards.

4. There are, however, wide variations in indicators of human development across different States
(Table 10.3). The life expectancy at birth at 72 years and male literacy rate at 93.6 per cent in Kerala are quite high as compared to States like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The infant mortality rate of 16 per thousand in Kerala is less than a fourth of the All India estimates
of 74 and less than one sixth of rates in Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. It may be noted that the indicators of human development in Kerala are fairly comparable with those in several Asian countries (Table 10.4).

5. The weaker sections especially scheduled castes/scheduled tribes and women have been given importance in special programmes of poverty alleviation and employment as well as in several other programmes. The Public Distribution System (PDS) has been streamlined recently in order to target the poorer sections of the population.

6.  Average real wages for unskilled agricultural labour which reflect the economic condition of agricultural labourers declined by 0.50 per cent and 0.69 per cent for the country as a whole in the agricultural year (July to June) of 1994-95 and 1995-96 respectively (Table 10.5). However, the States do not indicate uniform trends in the sense that real wages increased in 1995-96 over 1994-95 in the range of 2.26 to 18.56 per cent in Assam, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Kerala, whereas real wages in the remaining States declined in the range of 0.39 per cent to 12.67 per cent. These trends seem to suggest that the rural conditions operating in different States are important in influencing the real agricultural wages.

Literacy and Education

7.  Our system of elementary education is the second largest in the world with 151 million children enrolled in 1994-95 in the age group of 6-14 years covering about 91 per cent of the children in this age group.

8.  The number of primary schools increased substantially from 2.10 lakh in 1950-51 to 5.90 lakh in 1995-96. During the same period, the number of upper primary schools rose from 0.14 lakh to 1.71 lakh. The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in the primary stage (classes I-V) increased from 42.6 per cent in 1950-51 to 104.3 per cent in 1995-96 and in the upper primary stage (classes VI-VIII) from 12.7 per cent to 67.6 per cent. These changes have contributed in raising the overall literacy rate from 18.3 per cent in 1951 to 52.2 per cent in 1991.

9.  What is equally important at this stage is that concerted efforts are required for raising the GER at the primary stage in States like Bihar, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh which are having GERs of less than 90 per cent (Table 10.6 ). This would help in raising the literacy levels in these States.

10.  The affirmative policies of the Government have helped in raising the enrolment of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) considerably as was mentioned in the Economic Survey 1995-96. The participation of SCs and STs is now more or less in proportion to their share in the population at the primary level. Dropouts, though declining over the years, are significantly large. Gender disparities are also very conspicuous among SCs and STs.

11.  The Total Literacy Campaign has become the principal strategy of the National Literacy Mission (NLM) in the eradication of illiteracy throughout the country. The target for achieving the total literacy is now 2005 A.D. As on December 1996, 417 districts have been covered either fully or partially under the Total Literacy Campaign. Similarly, 178 districts have also been covered under the Post Literacy Campaign. Under all the schemes of NLM, 57.96 million persons have so far been made literate as per NLM norms against an enrolment of 96.80 million. The new scheme of Continuing Education for neo-literates (approved in December, 1995) is now under implementation.

12.  In view of the importance of the National Programme of Nutritional Support to primary education (Mid-Day Meal Programme) which was launched from 15th August, 1995 for boosting universalisation of education and improving the nutritional level of students in primary classes (I-VI), the Central Plan allocation has been raised from about 612 crore in 1995-96 (RE) to Rs.1400 crore in 1996-97 (BE). The Central support under this programme is on the following :

  1. Provision of foodgrains free of cost to the implementing agencies.
  2. Reimbursement to District authorities for transportation cost for moving of foodgrains from Food Corporation of India’s godowns to schools/villages at the rate of Rs.25 per quintal as applicable under Revamped Public Distribution System.
  3. Remuneration for conversion of foodgrains into cooked food as well as expenditure on construction of kitchen sheds will be eligible for coverage under the poverty alleviation schemes being administered by the Ministry of Rural Development.

13.  The Mid-Day Meal Programme has commenced in all the States/UTs. Seven States, namely, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu and UT of Pondicherry are serving cooked meals. In rest of the States/UTs foodgrains are being distributed.

14.  The District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) introduced in 1994 is the most intensive effort by the Central Government to operationalise the strategy of decentralised planning for Universal Elementary Education (UEE) as envisaged by the National Policy on Education, 1986. This has been in operation in 59 districts of eleven States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. DPEP is funded by multiple external agencies including the World Bank and the European Commission.

15.  The Central Plan outlay for DPEP has been raised substantially from Rs.25 crore in 1995-96 (BE) to about Rs.239 crore in 1996-97(BE).

16.  With a view to bringing the benefits of Techno-Economic advances and large scale investments in the Technical Education System to the poorest of the poor in the country, the Government has been running an institutionalised and structured scheme of Community Polytechnics functioning all over the country. This alongwith its extension centres in remote/inaccessible areas provides a delivery capacity comparable to that of the committed voluntary organisations. The network of Community Polytechnics is currently functioning with a strength of 375 polytechnics alongwith a large number of village extension centres. About 4.5 lakh rural youths have been trained through the Community Polytechnics. A large number of villagers have also been benefitted through transfer of technology by these institutions.

17.  The share of both Central and State Governments including local bodies, etc. in financing educational institutions continues to be quite high. It accounted for 92.9 per cent of the total income of educational institutions in 1990-91, whereas the share from fees and endowments and other sources of educational institutions declined sharply (Table 10.7).

18.  While the Central Government plays an important role for overall policy directions in education and funding of centrally sponsored plan schemes, the State Governments provide most of the funding for the education system. There is, therefore, an urgent need for State Governments to re-prioritise expenditure and tighten fiscal discipline. Private initiatives in education may be encouraged for supplementing the public resources. Further, resources must be mobilised by revising fees and other user charges especially for higher levels of education.

Population and Family Welfare

19. The Family Welfare Programme has helped in containing the growth rate of population. Total Fertility Rate has declined from 4.5 in 1981 to 3.5 in 1993 as per the estimates of Sample Registration System (SRS). The Crude Birth Rate has decreased from 33.9 per thousand population in 1981 to 28.3 in 1995 as per the provisional estimates of the SRS. The Crude Death Rate has also declined from 12.5 to 9 per thousand population over the same period. The Infant Mortality Rate dropped from 110 per thousand live births in 1981 to 74 in 1995. The annual average exponential population growth rate has come down marginally from 2.22 per cent during 1971-81 to 2.14 per cent during 1981-91. The population, however, continues to grow as the decline in birth rate has not been as rapid as the decline in the death rate.

20.  There are, however, inter-State differences in the achievements of the Family Welfare Programme. At one end of the spectrum are the States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Goa which have already achieved replacement level of fertility. At the other end, are the large States like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar where fertility levels and birth rates continue to be higher than the national average. Therefore, decline in the rate of growth of population for the country as a whole depends upon how the large northern States perform in the family welfare programmes in the future. Unless effective steps are taken to bring about significant improvements in the programme, the performance in containing the growth of population at the All India level may not change significantly.

21. Recognising the close relationship between high birth rates and high infant mortality, high priority has been accorded to the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programme since 1985. In order to achieve the main objective of MCH, (i.e. to improve the health status of women and children and to reduce maternal, infant and child morbidity and mortality rates), the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) was launched in 1985. From the year 1992-93 the UIP has been strengthened and expanded into the Child Survival and Safe Motherhood (CSSM) programme. Under this programme, apart from strengthening the existing MCH, initiative has been taken to expand the pilot projects on Acute Respiratory Infection Control and Traditional Birth Attendants training. For this, a provision of Rs.350 crore has been made in the 1996-97 budget as against Rs.220 crore in 1995-96 (BE).

22. From 1.4.1996, the Family Welfare Programme is being implemented on the basis of the "Target Free Approach" (TFA). This approach envisages replacement of the system of setting contraceptive targets from the top by a system of decentralised participatory planning at the Primary Health Centre level.

23. Pursuant to the World Health Organisation (WHO) goal to eradicate poliomyelitis (polio, a major crippling childhood disease) by the year 2000 A.D., the Pulse Polio Immunization (PPI) was launched in 1995-96. About 87 million children aged 0-3 years were administered a supplemental dose of oral polio vaccine on 9.12.1995 and 93 million on 20.1.1996, irrespective of their routine immunisation status. Since PPI received an overwhelming response from the public, the exercise was repeated on 7.12.1996 and 18.1.1997 covering about 120 million children in the age group of 0-5 years.

24. A Special School Health Check-up Scheme for Primary School Children was carried out in 27 States/UTs in July 1996, and in the remaining 5 States between August and October 1996. The objectives of this Scheme were to detect common health related problems among primary school children; to conduct screening of children for appropriate referral and check up; to generate health awareness in the community; and to ensure arrangements for follow up and treatment at higher level medical facilities. Reports from 441 districts show 75.9 per cent coverage of schools and 84.9 per cent coverage of enrolled children.

25. In order to foster community involvement in the Family Welfare Programme, two new schemes have been started on a pilot basis. Under one of these, one revenue village in every district, among villages with a population of 500 or more, will be given an award of Rs. 2 lakh for achieving a reduction in the Crude Birth Rate, Infant Mortality Rate and Child Mortality Rate. The second scheme aims to integrate family welfare and health care into the ongoing National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) of the Ministry of Agriculture. Under this scheme, the watershed level community based management structures, known as the ‘Mitra Krishak Mandal’ (MKM) will conduct surveys and prepare watershed level family welfare and health care plans. An amount of Rs.5000 will be given to each village in the watershed areas, for specified activities like emergency obstetric care and purchase of essential medicines.

26. The Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994, has been brought into force from 1st January, 1996. This Act makes it illegal to use prenatal diagnostic techniques like amniocentesis for determining the sex of the foetus, a practice that often leads to abortion of female foetuses. Statutory machinery for implementation of the Act has been established.

Medical and Health Care

27. The "Health for All" strategy is being re-oriented towards "Health for Under Privileged".

28. In view of the importance given to medical and health care in the economic reforms, the Central Plan outlay for programmes of the Department of Health has been stepped up from Rs. 302 crore in 1992-93 to Rs.815 crore in 1996-97 (BE). Since communicable diseases cause the highest morbidity and mortality, the Central Plan outlays during 1996-97 have been enhanced substantially for control of major diseases like malaria (Rs.145 crore), tuberculosis (Rs.65 crore), and AIDS (Rs.141 crore).

29. The National Health Programmes aimed at prevention, control and eradication of communicable and non-communicable diseases have been taken up by the Government for implementation. Although the National Malaria Eradication Programme is a centrally sponsored scheme based on 50:50 cost sharing between the Centre and the States, 100 per cent central assistance is being provided to the seven North-Eastern States of hard core malaria endemicity which are almost entirely inhabited by tribal population. During 1996, the country witnessed a sudden outbreak of infectious diseases like Plague, Dengue fever, etc. in various parts.

30. Efforts have been made to ensure that the ongoing reforms do not lead to any adverse effect on the provision of essential care to meet the health needs of the disadvantaged segments of the population. Some of the measures include allocation of funds under the Social Safety Net Scheme to improve Maternal and Child Health (MCH) infrastructure beginning with 90 poorly performing districts in a phased manner.

31.  For AIDS, a National Control Programme has been taken up with blood safety measures and STD control through National AIDS Control Organisation. During the last four years of implementation of the programme, 154 Zonal Blood Testing Centres have been established all over the country to provide HIV testing facilities. 199 blood banks have been modernised during 1995-96. 128 medical officers, 747 blood bank technicians and 37 drug inspectors have been imparted training under the Programme. The ‘One World, One Hope’ theme that was adopted for the World AIDS Day on December 1, 1996 reflects coming together of various groups to prevent the spread of HIV.

32. Specific efforts have also been made to promote the Indian System of Medicine because of its traditional acceptance by the population and the local availability of personnel belonging to these systems. Practitioners of the Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy are being involved in primary health care delivery systems, family welfare programmes as well as in all the national health programmes.

33.  As indicated in Table 10.8, there has been marked expansion in infrastructure for the health sector.

34. To augment the resources for health care, user charges have been introduced with exemption for the poor for medical/diagnostic services in certain hospitals in some of the States/UTs. This would also help in providing better quality services, for which demand is increasing with the rise in income, besides facilitating public funding of basic health facilities.

35. A ‘National Illness Assistance Fund’ is being set up at the Centre and State levels to provide funds for expensive hospital treatment for people below the poverty line.

Development of Women and Children

36. With a view to making women economically independent and self-reliant, a number of interventions have been launched. The programme of STEP (Support to Training and Employment Programme), seeks to train women for employment in the traditional sectors of agriculture, animal husbandry, dairy, handlooms and handicrafts etc. Launched in 1987, STEP has benefitted more than 2.50 lakh women. The budget provision of Rs.16 crore has been made for STEP during the year 1996-97.

37. The scheme, ‘Training-cum-Production Centres’, to train women belonging to weaker sections of the society and to provide them employment on a sustainable basis, is funded by the NORAD (Norwegian Agency for International Development). In addition, a provision of Rs.10 crore has been made during 1996-97 under the scheme of training cum production centres for destitute women.

38. Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) was set up in March 1993 for meeting the credit needs of poor women and particularly of those in the unorganised sector, who would otherwise have rather difficult access to formal institutional credit instruments. Within a short span of three years, the RMK had by 15th November 1996 sanctioned extended credit limits of Rs.26 crore to 129 NGOs for its further lending. This will benefit over 1.36 lakh women. Out of this amount, Rs.16.22 crore has already been disbursed.

39. The Mahila Samriddhi Yojana (MSY), a central sector scheme, was launched on October 2, 1993. This scheme not only inculcates the habit of thrift amongst rural women but also gives them possession and control over their household resources. The scheme has received an overwhelming response from all over the country. Upto September 1996, a total of about 200 lakh MSY Accounts were opened and total deposits amounted to over Rs.200 crore.

40. The scheme of day care centres is being implemented through the Central Social Welfare Board in order to provide day care services to children below 5 years and belonging to the weaker sections of society. A Central Plan outlay of Rs. 7.5 crore has been provided for the scheme during 1996-97(BE).

41.  Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is one of the world’s largest and unique programmes, which aims at providing an integrated package of health, nutrition and educational services to children below six years, pregnant women and nursing mothers. The beneficiary coverage of ICDS is now 184 lakh children and 38 lakh mothers who are reached through 3946 ICDS projects/3.42 lakh Anganwadis. Out of 3946 ICDS projects, 755 projects are being implemented with the World Bank assistance in pre-dominantly tribal and backward areas of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh providing certain additional services. In 507 ICDS blocks, services such as health, nutrition etc. have been extended to nearly 3.5 lakh adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18 years, particularly the school drop-outs. Other significant programmes for the development of children include Early Childhood Education, Balwadi Nutrition Programme, Special Nutrition Programme, etc.

Welfare of Weaker Sections

42.  The Government has taken a number of steps to uplift the weaker sections of society and to reduce inequalities in income, status and opportunities for such disadvantaged sections of society, which include Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, backward classes, minorities and handicapped covering about 85 per cent of the country’s population. Government has not only stepped up allocations on the ongoing programmes but has also initiated new schemes.

43.  The National Scheme for Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers and their dependants has been modified to remove the bottlenecks in its effective implementation. A sum of Rs.90 crore has been provided for the scheme in 1996-97 budget.

44.  The National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) provides concessional financial assistance to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes families whose annual income is less than double of the poverty income criteria i.e. Rs.22,000 per annum in rural areas and Rs.23,700 per annum in urban areas for implementing various self-employment schemes/projects whose cost is upto Rs.30 lakh. The Corporation has sanctioned a total of 1054 schemes costing Rs.831 crore which on completion will help 2,11,677 beneficiaries. Upto 31st March, 1996, a sum of Rs 291 crore was disbursed.

45.  The Scheduled Castes Development Corporations (SCDCs) in 23 States/UTs are receiving assistance towards share capital (49 per cent) from the Central Government. The SCDCs provide margin money assistance and subsidy to the target group and arrange for bank loans for employment oriented schemes. The SCDCs have benefitted about 90 lakh beneficiaries since their inception. An outlay of Rs.30 crore has been provided in 1996-97 (BE).

46.  The Centrally sponsored scheme of post matric scholarship for SC and ST students has been modified with effect from 1.10.1995, thereby revising the maintenance allowance rates, income ceiling for eligibility and study charges. The restriction of providing benefits of the scheme to two children per family has been relaxed in the case of girl students pursuing correspondence courses and they are now eligible to get book allowance of Rs.500 per annum in addition to earlier reimbursement of non-refundable fees. An outlay of Rs.149 crore has been provided for post matric scholarship scheme during 1996-97. The number of beneficiaries went up from 18,47,153 in 1995-96 to 20,79,000 (estimated) in 1996-97.

47.  Under the centrally sponsored scheme of pre-matric scholarship to the children of those engaged in unclean occupations such as scavengers of dry latrines, sweepers having additional links with scavenging, flayers, and tanners, 2,50,000 children are expected to be benefitted in 1996-97 as against 2,44,628 (provisional) children during 1995-96. An outlay of Rs.7.5 crore has been provided during 1996-97(BE).

48.  The Special Central Assistance for Scheduled Castes is an addition to the special component plans for the scheduled castes prepared by the States/UTs. The scheme has been adopted by 24 States/UTs which is entirely financed by the Central Government. The scheme is intended to fill critical gaps and vital missing inputs in family oriented income generating schemes with supporting infrastructure development. An outlay of Rs.275 crore has been provided in 1996-97 budget.

49.  Under the scheme of prevention and control of juvenile social maladjustment, as many as 613 homes for neglected and delinquent children have been established all over the country. The scheme for welfare of street children provides basic services for the care, protection and development of street children with a view to preventing their exploitation and abuse. A provision of Rs.4.5 crore has been made for this scheme during 1996-97. In the programme of care for the Aged, assistance is provided to voluntary organisations for setting up of old age homes, day care centres and mobile medicare units for the welfare of the elderly. More than 400 centres are being funded under the scheme.

50.  The National Minorities Development Finance Corporation set up in September 1994 for implementing multi-sectoral development plans for minority concentration districts, has been functioning since 1995-96 with the objective of identifying the activities which are pursued by these communities, the requirements of credit, infrastructure, technological and market linkages required and the source through which they can be arranged.

51.  The National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation set up with the objective of promoting economic development of the backward classes has so far sanctioned an amount of Rs. 292.16 crore of which Rs. 148.5 crore was disbursed to 88,308 beneficiaries upto 31st March,1996.

52.  A number of measures have been taken to alleviate the sufferings of retarded and handicapped persons. It includes setting up a National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation, and National Institute for Blind, Deaf, Mentally Retarded and Orthopaedically Handicapped. The Government is also rendering financial assistance to voluntary organisations for the welfare of handicapped and also providing aids and appliances for these people.

53.  A comprehensive law, "The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995’’, has been enforced with effect from February 7, 1996. This law is an important landmark and will ensure equal opportunities for persons with disabilities and their full participation in the nation building. The salient features of the legislation are given in Box 10.2.

Housing

54.  Although housing is basically a State level activity, the Central Government is responsible for the formulation of broad policy framework of this sector and overseeing the effective implementation of the social housing scheme, particularly for the weaker sections of the Society.

55.  The Central Government strives to create a conducive environment for generating housing activity so as to meet its growing demand. The Delhi Rent Bill, 1994 has been passed by both the Houses of Parliament and it received the assent of the President on 23.8.1995. Soon after the Delhi Rent Act, 1995 was passed by the Parliament, representations were received from a section of traders - tenants demanding changes in some of the provisions of the Act. On the other hand, some forums representing house owners are pressing for an early notification of the Act and enforcement thereon. All these issues are under the consideration of the Government.

56.  The Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), meant for the poorest of the poor belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and free bonded labour in the rural areas, had been further extended to cover non-SC/ST poor families, subject to certain conditions. Houses, under IAY scheme are built in clusters so that common facilities can be provided easily. Under IAY, 2,81,754 houses were built during 1996-97 (upto October, 96) as against 8,63,889 in 1995-96.

57.  The Urban Basic Services for the Poor (UBSP) scheme was launched with a total outlay of Rs.100 crore for the Eighth Plan period. The aim of the scheme is to improve the quality of life of the urban poor specially the most vulnerable sections of the population such as women, children, youth, Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and minorities. As on 30th November, 1996, more than 8000 Neighbourhood Development Committees comprising primarily of urban poor women have been set up in 318 towns for the provision of basic services. 3877 mini plans have already been prepared and 574 community organisers are in the field working as catalysts for enriching community participation.

58.  In its efforts to enhance the flow of funds particularly in rural areas and its easy accessibility to the needy rural population, the National Housing Bank (NHB) till the end of April 1996, has subscribed to the "Special Rural Housing Debentures" (SRHDs) of State Level Cooperative Land Development Banks (SLDBs) to the tune of Rs.180.91 crore. Out of the cumulative assistance of Rs.317.81 crore to the cooperative sector institutions, the share of SLDBs works out to 51.1 per cent. Recognising the importance of providing housing to women, particularly those belonging to the vulnerable sections, NHB has announced a "Direct Financing Scheme for Housing for Women". Under the scheme, NHB will directly finance the projects of public agencies and local bodies for the benefit of women belonging to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Lower Income Group (LIG) categories.

Water Supply and Sanitation

59. Water supply and sanitation are important basic needs for the improvement of quality of life and enhancement of productive efficiency of the citizens. Although State Governments are responsible for supply of drinking water in villages, Central assistance is being provided under the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) with 100 per cent grants-in-aid subject to a matching provision (except for DDP areas where matching provision is regular) being made by State Governments under Minimum Needs Programme (MNP). The National Drinking Water Mission (NDWM) renamed as the Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission (RGNDWM) is looking into the need for providing sustainable safe drinking water to the entire rural population over the next few years.

60. The coverage of rural population with drinking water supply and sanitation facilities in rural and urban areas increased rapidly (Table 10.9). An outlay of Rs.1170.86 crore has been provided in 1996-97 budget for the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Schemes.

61. The scheme of rural sanitation is aimed at supplementing the efforts made under different Central and State sector programmes for improving sanitary facilities in the rural areas. It includes, inter alia, construction of sanitary latrines for individual households below the poverty line, village complexes for women, drains and other sanitation facilities. A total number of 1,66,353 and 37,422 sanitary latrines were constructed for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively during 1995-96.

Special Employment and Poverty Alleviation Programmes

62. Poverty alleviation programme is one of the main thrust areas of the Common Minimum Programme, comprising of wage employment and credit linked self employment schemes. A two-pronged attack on rural and urban poverty has been launched through these schemes. A strategic attack on poverty is an important element of the development policy pursued by the Government.

63.  Ongoing employment and anti-poverty programmes like Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), Training of Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM), Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY), Nehru Rozgar Yojana (NRY), Prime Minister’s Integrated Urban Poverty Eradication Programme (PMIUPEP) and Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) have been strengthened to ensure generation of more employment, creation of productive assets, imparting of technical, entrepreneurial skills and raising the income level of the very poor.

64.  In order to achieve the goal of removing poverty by 2005, many social welfare schemes have further been fine tuned to increase their effectiveness and sustainability. The multi-dimensional National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) is one of the significant steps towards the fulfilment of the Directive Principles as enshrined in the Constitution of India. Under the scheme 100 per cent Central assistance is provided to ensure social protection to specific beneficiaries throughout the country without any interruption.

65.  The NSAP consists of the following three components as mentioned in the Economic Survey, 1995-96:

  1. National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) providing a pension of Rs.75 per month to destitutes above 65 years of age.
  2. National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) - Rs. 5000 in case of death due to natural causes and Rs.10,000 in case of accidental death of the primary breadearner to the bereaved household.
  3. National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS) - Rs. 300 per pregnancy upto the first two live births.

66.  A sum of Rs.932 crore has been provided for the above three components of NSAP in 1996-97 budget.

67.  The Rural Group Life Insurance Scheme (RGLIS), a group insurance scheme implemented through Panchayats provides a life cover of Rs.5000 to its members in rural areas for an annual premium of Rs.60 (age group 20-40 years) or Rs.70 (age group 40-50 years) depending upon the age group at the time of entry into the scheme. It will be subsidised to the extent of 50 per cent to be shared equally by the Centre and States. A Central outlay of Rs.3 crore has been made in 1996-97 budget.

68.  Since 1993-94, the JRY was being implemented in the following three streams:

First Stream

Comprising of general works under the JRY and the two sub-schemes namely, the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) and the Million Wells Scheme (MWS).

Second Stream

Second Stream of JRY (also called as the Intensified JRY) is implemented in 120 identified backward districts with additional allocation.

Third Stream

Third Stream of JRY consists of Special and Innovative projects.

In the light of the experience gained in the past, the modalities of implementing the Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) have been considered in detail during 1995-96 and it has been decided to continue the First Stream comprising of general works under the JRY and the Third Stream consisting of Special and Innovative projects of JRY, on the existing lines. However, two sub-schemes namely, the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) and Million Wells Scheme (MWS) of the First Stream as mentioned above will be implemented as separate schemes in their own right and will not form part of the First Stream of JRY. The Second Stream of JRY (also called as the Intensified JRY) stands merged with the Employment Assurance Scheme w.e.f. 1.1.1996. The Third Stream (innovative JRY) for taking up pilot projects of innovative nature is being implemented with the stipulation, namely, 5 per cent of JRY funds or maximum of Rs.75 crore.

69.  An outlay of Rs.1865 crore has been allocated during 1996-97 for JRY with a sum of Rs.1194 crore for IAY and Rs.448 crore for MWS. The funds meant for the IAY and MWS are operated at district level by the District Rural Development Agencies/Zila Parishads. Under IAY scheme, houses are provided to the target group i.e. those below the poverty line and belonging to SCs/STs and free bonded labourers in rural areas. 2.82 lakh houses were constructed and the construction of 3.56 lakh houses was under progress, against which an expenditure of Rs.424.78 crore was incurred by the end of October 1996. Based on the recommendations of Chief Ministers’ Conference held in July 1996, the ceiling assistance for construction of IAY units for plain and difficult areas has been enhanced to Rs.20,000 and Rs.22,000 respectively. Upto October 1996, 51,521 wells were constructed under the Million Wells Scheme for small and marginal farmers belonging to SCs/STs and free bonded labourers who are below the poverty line.

70. Employment Assurance Scheme is aimed at providing assured employment to all persons in rural areas who are below the poverty line and are seeking employment but are unable to find it. The coverage of EAS has since been extended to 3206 blocks. A decision has been taken to universalise the scheme. Fifty per cent of the remaining blocks in the country will be included this year and rest of fifty per cent will be included under EAS from next year. The scope of the scheme has also been enlarged for taking up horticultural activities on individual beneficiary’s land of marginal farmers. Over 2.23 crore persons have been registered under this scheme. About 347 million mandays employment was generated during 1995-96 as against 274 million mandays during 1994-95. In 1996-97 (upto October 1996), about 134.72 million mandays jobs were generated.

71.  The targets and achievements of the special programmes are given in Table 10.10.

72.  Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) is aimed at assisting seven lakh educated unemployed youth in setting up self-employment ventures in the industry, service and business sectors during the Eighth Five Year Plan. Sustainable employment is expected to be created for 14 lakh persons at the average rate of two persons per enterprise. By the end of November, 1996 as many as 6.32 lakh youth had been sanctioned loans. A sum of Rs.145 crore has been provided in 1996-97 budget for this scheme.

73.  Nehru Rozgar Yojana (NRY) is aimed at creating employment opportunities through three schemes such as wage employment, micro enterprise and shelter upgradation for the urban poor. A sum of Rs.71 crore has been allocated during 1996-97 budget.

74.  The Prime Minister’s Integrated Urban Poverty Eradication Programme was launched in November 1995 which seeks to attack several root causes of urban poverty simultaneously in an integrated manner with the specific objective of achievement of social sector goals, community empowerment, employment generation and skill upgradation, shelter upgradation and environmental improvement with a multi-pronged and long term strategy. The entire programme period of 5 years with effect from 1995-96 with a Central share of Rs.800 crore will benefit over five million urban poor living in 345 class II urban agglomerations with a population of 50000 to 1 lakh each. It is expected to benefit about 150 lakh urban poor by the end of 1996-97. As on October 1996, over 14000 and 11000 beneficiaries have been identified for self-employment and shelter upgradation respectively.

75.  The Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) along with wage employment programmes formed the cornerstone of Government’s strategy of direct attack on rural poverty through creation of employment for vulnerable groups. This is a Centrally sponsored scheme with subsidy being shared between the Centre and the States on 50:50 basis. Besides, Central outlay includes provision for supply of improved tool kits to general artisans below the poverty line. A total outlay of Rs.656 crore has been made during 1996-97 budget.

Outlook

76.  The allocation of higher resources to social sectors in the current year indicates that the emphasis on social sectors is likely to be continued in the near future. This would require the mobilisation of adequate resources by both the Centre and the States. In this context, better targeting of limited available resources and the involvement of private sector for supplementing the public resources are required for the development of social sectors. Further, those who can afford to pay must be charged for services rendered.

77.  Substantial increase in the availability of funds by the Central Government for the State level social programmes provides a clear indication that the States’ involvement has now become crucial in the development of social sectors. This requires not only effective implementation of various social sector programmes but also in evolving various innovative programmes, which are likely to benefit the poor directly.

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The Economic Survey Of India, 1997

Document released by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, on 25th February, 1997.
Made available on the Web on the same day, by MediaWeb India, on
The Indian Economy Overview (http://www.m-web.com).

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