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Among "backward" states, UPA rural schemes working best in BJP’s MP

Friday 22 December 2006, by CITHARA*Paul

New Delhi, December 21: BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, one of the “traditionally backward states”, has surprised everyone with the way it has gone about implementing Centre-sponsored rural development schemes intended for the uplift of the poor, including the UPA’s flagship National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). The “surprising performance” is being attributed to the progress Madhya Pradesh has made in terms of decentralisation and local governance.

But news from the other “traditionally backward states” - Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Uttaranchal and the North Eastern States stand at the bottom of performance indicators - is so grim that the Rural Development Ministry has decided to introduce a ranking system for states.

This was announced after a meeting of rural development secretaries, chaired by Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, to assess implementation of the schemes.

The grading of states would be carried out on the basis of physical and financial performance indicators. There would also be indicators to assess the “real quality” of work done. The grading of states would be posted every quarter on the Ministry website and an announcement made annually. It has also been decided to award monetary incentives to the best performing states.

Schemes that were reviewed include Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY), Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY), Indira Awas Yojana, National Rural Employment Guarantee

Programme (NREGP), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), training programmes for various functionaries, watershed management, sanitation and water supply.

On the other hand, those states which stand high in various socio-economic indicators have carried out implementation of most Central schemes rather well. For example, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have fared considerably well in implementing either of these rural development programmes.

See online : The Indian Express

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