With Mahatma Gandhi NREGA providing rich political dividends and letting the government stay in course, the UPA-2 is stepping on the gas to multiply the mileage.
On June 3, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will launch the National Rural Livelihoods Mission, a massive self-empowerment programme for rural
India with focus on women, from a tribal district in Rajasthan, Banswara. But unlike the NREGS providing sustenance to rural India, the NRLM is to make ‘Bharat self reliant, economic engine of its own’. The mission implementation starting with 15% of blocks will cover the entire country within seven years.
NRLM would cover 6.96 crore BPL households with women members united as a SHG. Gives assistance of R1 lakh (90% bank loan) per family to start own business and targets creation of 60 lakh micro-entrepreneurs by 2017.
The programme with major role of the states will focus on Bihar and UP, where Congress scion Rahul Gandhi wanted the self-help groups developed on Andhra model.
In Andhra, Chandrababu Naidu’s concept of SHG movement saw the TDP retain power in 1999, with the women support. In Gujarat, with project Mangalam’s Sakkhi mandals, Narendra Modi is preparing for 2012 polls.
The results of NRLM are expected to appear by 2014 elections.
Officials estimate the fund requirement in form of grants to be R30,000 crore during 12th Plan with each BPL family getting Rs10,000 as assistance.
The individual and SHG programme will also replace the SGSY — a self-employment scheme of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
“NREGA provides basic sustenance; the need now is to adapt rural India to self-reliant livelihoods, decreasing dependence on farming,” officials said.