Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sky above them!

And that’s the only roof they know...

‘India is shining’ is the advertisement punch-line used by the erstwhile NDA government showcasing India’s potential to the world. Around 70% of our population live in rural India [which are not growing as fast as our glittery urban lands are] and a major portion of rural population live in mud houses, which under the government’s own admission is an unsatisfactory way to live.

The government has a wonderful scheme called ‘Indira Awas Yojana’, where credit is given to the SC, ST, free-bonded labourers and non-SCs/non-STs who are under poverty line (BPL), to build houses on the land they own. There lies the cruel paradox that more than 13 million families do not own any agricultural land! And to make matters worse, eight million do not even own a plot. To neutralise this disparity, the Union Government has extended a helping hand of Rs.1 billion to state governments so that they can buy lands to be distributed to the landless. This is the first such step in many years from the Union Government, which can benefit 100,000-200,000 rural families straight away. Considered that this is a real noble gesture from the Union Government, ensuring proper utilisation of funds will pose a challenge.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012.

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