Cabinet approves special package for J & K and Ladakh worth Rs 520 crore

New Delhi, October 14, 2020

The Union Cabinet today approved a special package worth Rs 520 crore for the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh for five years till FY 2023-24.

The Cabinet also decided to ensure funding of the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) in the two Union Territories on a demand-driven basis without linking allocation with poverty ratio during this extended period, an official press release said.

This will ensure sufficient funds under the Mission, as per need, to the UTs in line with Government of India's aim to universalize all centrally-sponsored beneficiary-oriented schemes in the UTs of J & K and Ladakh in a time-bound manner, it said.

This is based on the outcomes of the evaluation pointing to the potential of the Mission to improve the quality of life of rural households and women's empowerment and given the changed circumstances in the UTs.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is a centrally sponsored programme that aims at eliminating rural poverty through the promotion of multiple livelihoods for rural poor households across the country.

The release said the launch of DAY-NRLM in June 2011 to address rural poverty marks a paradigm shift in poverty alleviation programmes. It seeks to reach out to all rural poor households, estimated at 10 crore households and impact their livelihoods through universal social mobilization by inter alia organizing one woman member from each rural poor household into Self Help Groups (SHGs), their training and capacity building, facilitating their micro-livelihoods plans, and enabling them to implement their livelihoods plans through accessing financial resources from their institutions and the banks.

The mission involves working with community institutions through community professionals in the spirit of self-help. This unique proposition of DAY-NRLM sets it apart from the previous poverty eradication programmes. The other distinguishing features of the programme are its implementation in a Mission mode by special purpose vehicles (autonomous state societies) with dedicated implementation support units at the national, state, district and block levels, the release said.

It uses professional human resources to provide continuous and long-term handholding support to each rural poor family.

DAY-NRLM has been implemented in the erstwhile state of J&K by the Jammu and Kashmir State Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKSRLM) as "Umeed" programme.

As per the current fund allocation procedure under DAY-NRLM based on poverty allocations among states, the share of J&K was less than 1% of the annual allocation under DAY-NRLM.

To ensure sufficient funding support under the Mission for J&K and to ensure adequate coverage of the rural vulnerable population in the state, the Union Government had approved a Special Package under DAY-NRLM for the State of Jammu & Kashmir to cover all the rural vulnerable households in the State (estimated at two-thirds of the total number of rural households) within a definite time frame of five years from FY 2013-14 to FY 2017-18.

The Cabinet also approved the allocation of funds to the State under DAY-NRLM on a need basis for the implementation of the Special Package without linking it with poverty ratio. Originally approved financial outlay for the proposal was of the order of Rs 755.32 crores (Central share 679.78 crores) for the five years.

Due to various reasons and the disturbed conditions in the State, the Special Package as approved in May 2013 and subsequently extended by a year to up to 2018-19, could not be fully implemented.

A detailed third-party evaluation of the achievements of the programme in J&K and assessment of the preparedness of the State Mission to implement the special package further was conducted by Institute of Rural Management (IRMA), Anand, Gujarat in 2019.

The evaluation has brought out many good outcomes of the implementation of the DAY-NRLM in the erstwhile state. These included an increase in income levels, improved assets base, creating new/multiple livelihoods opportunities for women, higher savings, higher investments for productive purposes, productive utilization of loans etc., the release said.

Besides, it has had a positive impact on resolving community-level issues, increased transparency in beneficiary selection, social harmony and mutual help. A large cadre of community resource persons and social capital in the form of SHGs members and officer bearers has also been created, it added.

NNN

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