Central funding has improved rural conditions, data shows


New Delhi : Greater flow of central plan funds into rural development programmes in India has resulted in a whopping 58 percent growth in rural employment, according to the union rural development ministry data.

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“The average employment generated per year during the first three years of 2001-04 was 709 million person days, which made a marked improvement to 1.12 billion person days during the next three years, that is 2004-06,” said a senior rural development ministry official, quoting official figures released by the ministry.

“This marks an increase of 58.21 percent,” he said.

The ministry held the concluding session of the two-day national conference of project directors of District Rural Development Agencies (DRDA) at Vigyan Bhawan here Tuesday.

“Nearly 2,000 district rural development administrators participated in this session aimed at assessing the monitoring and evaluation of rural development programmes,” said the official.

He also pointed out that “the number of beneficiaries of Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY), that is national rural self-employment scheme, increased by 48.53 percent in the same period”.

“Improved performance was also marked in other similar centrally sponsored programmes for rural sector like the Integrated Wasteland Development Programme (IWDP), the Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) and the Desert Development Programme (DDP), in the same period on account of better central financial allocations,” he said.

For instance, “areas treated under IWDP, DPAP and DDP increased in the same period by 63.29 percent and the habitation covered under safe drinking water supply went by 110.24 percent,” he said quoting the monitoring report.

The report has also stated that toilets in individual households went up by 205.16 percent; school toilets by 191.62 percent and Balwadi (crèche) toilets by 746.09 percent.

Similarly, houses constructed under Indira Awas Yojona during 2004-07 were 450,000, which was an increase of 22 percent compared to 2001-04.

The report said that larger share from central plan funds was allotted to rural development ministry during the current United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime.

“Prior to the UPA government, the average per year share of the rural development ministry during the three years 2002-05 was 15.27 percent as against 18.37 percent during 2005-08,” it said.