NRLM Will Address Comprehensively the Needs of 6.5 Crore Rural Poor Households of the Country- Dr. C.P.Joshi
Union Minister for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Dr. C.P. Joshi has expressed the hope that the restructuring of existing Centrally sponsored Scheme “Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana” (SGSY) as “National Rural Livelihood Mission” (NRLM) will address comprehensively the needs of 6.5 crore rural poor households of the country. Briefing media persons at Krishi Bhawan New Delhi today he said this programme proposes to bring substantial changes in the lives of the rural poor by providing self employment and wage employment and thereby appreciable increase in income necessary for sustainable livelihoods. It was long felt need to tackle the rural poverty in a time bound manner through Mission mode approach.
The minister said NRLM focuses on people led and people centered organizations such as SHGs/Federations from village level to district level to provide space, voice, and resources to the poor and thereby reducing their dependency on external agencies. These institutions on maturity will also be actively involved in various activities directly or indirectly impacting the rural poor such as Public Distribution System(PDS), management of MGNREGA works etc. Instead of allocation based approach for providing funds to the States, the Mission will follow demand driven approach for release of funds on receipt of state level action plans. It will provide opportunities to the State Governments to workout action plan according to their resources within the outer parameters defined by the Central Government. Some of the states like Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have already set up such institutional structures having visible impact on the livelihoods of the rural poor.
About 6.5 crore households have to be covered under the Mission. Already 2 crore rural BPL households had been brought under the ambit of SHGs network which need to be further strengthened. Remaining 4.5 crore rural BPL households will be organized into SHGs in the next 5 years. Training and capacity building will be the priority areas of the Mission to enhance credit worthiness and credit absorption capacity of the rural poor entering into self employment and skill development of rural youth for placement in various sectors having regular employment opportunity, Dr. Joshi added.
He said the mission will have holistic approach to improve livelihood system of the poor by covering education, health, insurance and other aspects through convergence with programmes of other Ministries/Departments in place. It will make concerted efforts to ensure universal coverage of rural poor against loss of life, health and assets. The people’s institutions on maturity will act as effective agents for the implementation of the Government and the Panchayats programme and for providing assistance to banking institutions and create peer pressure for eradication of social evils like child marriage, untouchability, gender discrimination etc. It is likely to provide institutional legs to all rural development programmes in the long run with far reaching consequences.
The minister said SHGs are at present are concentrated in the southern states. Through NRLM it will be ensured that SHGs are formed through out the country. Also, there will be focus on the most vulnerable households- SC/ST, single women, minorities, persons with disabilities, etc.
Dr. Joshi said his ministries assessment and various studies shows that a poor family, even the poorest one, can come out of poverty in 6-8 years, provided they have a good handholding support system, and they are able to access at least Rs. 100,000 in several doses. He said NRLM recognizes that poor people have multiple livelihoods – wage employment an self employment. It will stabilize and enhance that incomes from both the livelihoods. It will also promote diversification of livelihoods. So a Mahatma Gandhi NREGA worker should not be a Mahatma Gandhi NREGA worker for life. They will be enabled to diversify and enhance their livelihoods.
NRLM will also focus on rural youth, it will enable them to enhance their skills and will be placed in jobs in semi-urban and urban growth centres. Thus there is plan to reach out 1.0 crore youth in seven years. Provision for revolving fund and capital subsidy have also been enhanced. Dr. Joshi said presently there is an interest rate subvention on the loans taken by SHGs. Interest on loans taken from the financial institutions will be reimbursed to SHGs based uo prompt repayment. This is applicable till a member has cumulatively taken loans upto Rs. 1.0 lakh.
He said it will be a demand driven approach as each state is at a different footing and therefore the priorities of each state will be different. They will be enabled to develop action plans based on their initial conditions. Also, NRLM will have partnerships with civil society organisations, industries, educational institutions and other resource organisations.