Poverty Alleviation Programmes

Question by: Bhola Singh, Vinod Kumar Sonkar

  1. whether the Government has any estimation of the population in the country that is poor and if so, the details thereof;
  2. whether the Government has evaluated the outcome of different poverty alleviation programmes launched during the last three years and if so, the details and the outcome thereof;
  3. whether the level of inequality has been rising in the country and if so, the details thereof along with the overall income, wealth and consumption inequality reported/noted during each of the last three years;
  4. whether there has been imbalance in development of various regions in the country and if so, the details thereof; and
  5. the other steps being taken by the Government to reduce poverty, inequality and regional disparity in the country?

Answer By: Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Planning and Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (Rao Inderjit Singh)

Criteria for Poverty Line

  • For determination of the methodology to estimate poverty line Expert Groups are constituted from time to time. The most recent Expert Group whose recommendations were accepted by the Government in 2011 was chaired by Prof. Suresh D. Tendulkar.
  • Based on the data of Large Sample Survey on Household Consumer Expenditure collected by NSSO in its 68th round conducted in 2011-12 the poverty lines and poverty ratio were estimated following the extant Tendulkar Committee methodology in 2011-12 and released through a Press Note issued on 22nd July 2013. The Press Note defined the poverty line using the criterion of Monthly Per Capita Consumption Expenditure (MPCE).
  • For the year 2011-12, the poverty line at all India level was estimated as MPCE of Rs. 816 for rural areas and Rs. 1000 for urban areas.

BPL Census

  • Ministry of Rural Development also conducts Below Poverty Line (BPL) Census to identify the poor households in the rural areas, to determine the potential beneficiaries under various programmes of the Government of India.
  • The first BPL Census was conducted in 1992 for the Eighth Five Year Plan. Subsequently, BPL census was conducted in 1997, for the Ninth Five Year Plan and in 2002 for the Tenth Five Year Plan period.

SECC 2011

  • In 2011, in place of BPL Survey, a Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC 2011) was conducted in association with the States/UTs under technical and financial support from the Government of India where besides the Ministry of Rural Development, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner and the States/UTs had also participated.
  • The findings of SECC-2011 in rural areas are available on www.secc.gov.in.
  • Ranking of Households in rural areas under SECC-2011 was made through a three-step process involving 13 (Thirteen) Automatic Exclusion parameters for identifying not-poor households, 5 (five) Automatic Inclusion parameters for identifying poorest of the poor households and 7 (seven) Deprivation Criteria for identifying poor households.
  • Out of 17.97 crore households in rural areas covered under SECC (2011), 48.53% reported incidence of deprivation, 7.07 crore were categorized under automatic exclusion criterion of households as not poor on the basis of 13 parameters, 0.16 crore households categorized under automatic inclusion criterion as poorest of the poor on the basis of 5 parameters and grading of deprivation of 8.72 crore of rural households on the basis of seven criteria.

Evaluation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes

  • NITI Aayog had undertaken evaluation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes for their continuance in the Fifteenth Finance Cycle. Respective Ministries/Departments undertake evaluation of the Central Sector (CS) schemes.

Findings on Inequality

  • The level of inequality measured in terms of Coefficient of Variation (CV) of states wise Net state Domestic Product (NSDP) at current prices (a proxy for Per Capita income) indicates that when compared to 2011-12 the inequalities have come down.
  • The CVs for the years 2016-17 to 2018-19 for which data on NSDP per Capita is available for most of the states/UTs (except Andaman & Nicobar Islands which is repeated for 2018-19), are in the range 56.2 to 56.8.
  • During 2018-19, taking Rs. 1,21,353 as the average, 17 States had per capita Net State Domestic Product below this average.

Govt. Plans & Programmes for Development

The Government is implementing a number of targeted programmes for overall balanced development in the country such as:

  • Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY)
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)
  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM)
  • National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY)
  • Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM)
  • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY)
  • Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
  • Atal Pension Yojana
  • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
  • Stand Up India Scheme, etc.

Aspirational Districts Programme

  • NITI Aayog has initiated the Aspirational Districts Programme to expeditiously improve the socio economic status of 112 relatively underdeveloped districts across 26 States and 1 Union Territory. These districts were identified on the basis of certain social and economic development criteria.
  • The Programme aims at rapid transformation of these backward districts across sectors which are critical for improving quality of life or economic productivity of citizens. These sectors are Health and Nutrition, School Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion and Skill Development and Basic Infrastructure.
  • 49 key performance indicators have been selected across these sectors and a district’s performance is monitored on the basis of progress made on these indicators.
  • The broad strategy of the Aspirational Districts Programme rests on the 3 Cs – Convergence (between Central and State Schemes), Collaboration (between Centre, State, District Administration, Development Partners and Citizens) and Competition (between Districts).
  • Every month, districts are ranked on basis of progress made and this instills them with a sense of competition which results in rapid improvement.
  • As the main strategy of the programme is based on convergence of existing schemes which have their own funding arrangement, large infusion of additional fund is not envisaged. However, in order to foster competitive spirit, and for addressing the critical gaps, additional allocation on challenge route is also envisaged.

National Rural Economic Transformation Project

  • In order to initiate higher order economic interventions, the M/o Rural Development launched World Bank assisted National Rural Economic Transformation Project in 2019.
  • The project is being implemented in select areas of 13 high poverty States viz. Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
  • NRETP aims to promote Model Cluster Level Federations, financial inclusion, farm Producer Groups (PGs) and large scale farmer Producer Enterprises (PEs), non-farm enterprises and rural clusters.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, June, 2021