The Centre has decided to scrap the Nirmal Gram Purushkar (NGP), a cash incentive for villages to become open defecation-free.
An important component of the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, the earlier version of the Clean India campaign, this initiative gave out cash rewards ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh per panchayat if all households had toilets and no open defecation was practiced anywhere in the village.
However, the programme had come in for criticism for its inefficacy as it was often seen that the villages that had won the award practised open defecation.
According to the India Human Development Report, published in 2011, there were many gram panchayats in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal that practised open defecation even though they had been rewarded with the NGP.
Following the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan last year, sources said the programme was reviewed and taking into account its ineffectiveness, it was decided that it would be scrapped.
The states, however, have been given the option to introduce any award scheme that they desired.
In addition, the Centre is also formulating a scheme of incentives for state governments on the basis of their performance towards achieving the goals of the Swachh Bharat mission.
Till 2013, the Centre has awarded 28,500 panchayats under the programme.