Ever since coming to power, the current government has come up with several programmes in order to ease the burden of poverty holding India back. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is one such programme. It looks to provide economically-disadvantaged people access to different financial services such as a basic savings account, insurance, credit as and when needed, pension and remittances. People who invest in this scheme can earn interest on the amount deposited by them, and have accidental insurance cover amounting to Rs. 1 lakh. The programme does not have a minimum amount that has to be always maintained.
The programme provides life insurance worth Rs. 30,000 and accountholders can avail overdraft facilities after six months. The maximum amount of overdraft in case of a single household is Rs. 5,000. The PMJDY also helps them get access to other insurance and pension-based financial products. The accountholders are also provided RuPay debit cards. The programme was launched on 8th April2015.
On 9th May, a couple of insurance programmes were launched for members of lower income groups and economically-backward sections – Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY). The age group covered by PMJJBY is 18-50 years. People willing to be insured under this programme need to pay a yearly premium of Rs. 330 and they will be provided a life cover amounting to Rs. 2 lakhs.
The PMSBY covers people between the age group of 18-70 years. The yearly premium for this policy is only Rs. 12. The accountholders get Rs. 1 lakh in case of partial disability in an accident and Rs. 2 lakh for complete disability and death for the same reason.
The Kisan Vikas Patra, which had been introduced for the first time by India Post way back in 1998, was re-launched. Farmers can invest in this programme in denominations like 1,000; 10,000; 5,000; and 10,000. Investors can expect their money to be doubled after 100 months. The saving certificate scheme can be issued either in the name of one person or many at a time. It can also be used as collateral to get loans and accountholders get an interest rate of 8.7%. The Krishi Ambani Bima Yojana tries to help the farmers who are facing financial issues owing to natural causes that have hindered their farming and affected their produce. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sinchai Yojana attempts to provide water for irrigation to different parts of the country.
Started on 11th October 2014, the Pradhan Mantri Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana places the responsibility of rural development on the MPs. It is their duty to develop the infrastructural facilities – physical and socio-economic – of three villages each and this has to be done by 2019. By 2024, they have to develop eight villages each. The first village has to be completed by 2016. It is expected that by 2024, 6,433 adarsh gram will be created.
The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) programme is supposed to provide rural areas continuous supply of power. As a part of the plan, the national administration will invest Rs. 75,600 crore. It has replaced the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana. The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana was launched on 25th September 2014, which is the 98th birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. It looks to provide jobs in rural India to people between the age group of 18-35 years.
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA)
The NREGA bill was passed in 2005 and it became effective from 2006. It became the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in 2008. As per the programme, 100 days of work are guaranteed to people in villages across the country. It has been a successful programme as far as increasing the income levels of poor people in the rural areas is concerned. It provides work opportunities to people as and when they ask for it. Even though it involves mostly unskilled manual work, it does provide some sort of safety net for the economically impoverished. The income from this programme helps them build some assets that make their lives that much better. This programme is implemented primarily by the Ministry of Rural Development.
Indira Awas Yojana (IAY)
The Indira Awas Yojana provides rural housing benefits. The aim of the programme is to create 20 lakh houses across the country and 65% of these are supposed to be in the rural areas. As per the scheme, subsidised loans are provided in order to help people, who would otherwise not be able to do so, make their own houses. The programme had been originally launched in 1985 and then reanimated in 1998-99.
Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)
The Integrated Rural Development Programme is said to be one of the most ambitious ones of its kind in the world. The programme looks to provide assets, generated by the dint of income, to the poorest people in India. The programme was launched in 1978-79 at selected locations. However, by November 1980, the whole country had come under the programme’s purview. The programme’s main objective is to create sustainable assets and provide them to targeted families, so that they can be brought above the poverty line. Self-employment is a major component of the assistance provided as part of the scheme.
Following are some other plans initiated by the national government for poverty alleviation in India:
- National Rural Employment Programme (NREP)
- National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS)
- Rural Labour Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP)
- National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)
- TRYSEM Scheme
- National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS)
- Jawahar Rojgar Yojna (JRY)
- Outlawing bonded labour
- Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna
- Modifying law to prevent centralization of wealth
- National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
- Antyodaya Plan
- Rural Housing Programme
- Small Farmers Development Programme (SFDP)
- Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojna
- Drought Area Development Programme (DADP)
- Nehru Rozgar Yojna (NRY)
- Twenty Point Programme
- Self-Employment Programme for the Urban Poor (SEPUP)
- Food for Work Programme
- Prime Minister’s Integrated Urban Poverty Eradication Programme (PMIUPEP)
- Minimum Needs Programme (MNP)