Andhra tops in schemes for poor, Gujarat slips

March 27th, 2008 - 11:51 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Narendra Modi
By Rajeev Ranjan Roy
New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh holds the top position in implementing schemes for the poor while Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s Gujarat is no longer among the best performers on this front, says a report of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. Karnataka holds the second rank. Gujarat slipped to the 14th rank in the ministry’s report on implementation of the 20-Point Programme (20-PP) during April-November 2007 against the 4th rank that the state was holding earlier.

“The state holding the first rank means better performance on all fronts in terms of achieving targets. Andhra Pradesh has topped the list by achieving 81 percent of the targets,” a ministry official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

While Kerala, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh were among the five best performers earlier, this time Gujarat - one of India’s most industrialised - is the only state to have slipped out of the top ranks.

“Gujarat could meet only 67 percent of the targets set for April-November 2007,” the official said.

The ministry gives rankings to states on the basis of their performance in implementing 16 schemes under the 20-PP aimed at “eradicating poverty and improving the quality of life of the poor and underprivileged all over the country”.

The ministry is the nodal agency to monitor the progress of 20-PP.

Some of the criteria for ranking are the assistance given to self-help groups (SHGs), constructing houses for the rural poor under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), immunisation of children, and the universalisation of the Integrated Child Development (ICD) scheme.

Besides Andhra Pradesh, the states that achieved 70 percent or above of the targets are Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Punjab, Goa and Tamil Nadu.

“During April-November 2007, Andhra Pradesh assisted 22,304 SHGs against the target of just 3,076. Gujarat helped 1,699 SHGs against the target of 1,157,” the official said.

SHGs are formed under the government’s Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) and comprise people living below the poverty line. They get financial assistance from the governments to take up various economic activities.

“Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, however, achieved only 92 and 64 percent of Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) targets,” the official said.

“The ranking gives us an insight into the implementation of pro-poor schemes at the ground level. The ministries concerned ask the poor performing states to improve,” the official said.

“Only 834,454 IAY houses were constructed against a target of over 1.4 million during April-November 2007.”

As per the official figures, over 4.5 million houses under IAY were constructed in 2004-07 for rural people living below the poverty line. The government estimation of the housing shortage in rural areas was pegged at 14.8 million as of April 1, 2001.

Keeping in view the increasing cost of houses, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has in his 2008-09 budget enhanced the subsidy per unit in respect of the new houses sanctioned after April 1, 2008, from Rs.25,000 to Rs.35,000 in the plains and from Rs.27,500 to Rs.38,500 in hilly or difficult areas.

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