Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development
- 10 Mar 2021
- 4 min read
Why in News
The Centre government must increase the amount of pensions provided for poor senior citizens, widows and disabled people, said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development.
- Issues Pointed Out by the Parliamentary Standing Committee:
- The panel pointed out that it had previously proposed the increase of the miniscule pensions in its reports and slammed the government’s “laxity in raising the amount”.
- Also, criticised the implementation of National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) in reaching out to the poor and downtrodden section of the society.
- Pointed out the meagre amount of assistance ranging from Rs. 200 to Rs. 500 per month under the different components of this Scheme.
- Noted the callous approach of the State Governments in the proper implementation of the provision of unemployment allowance.
- Pulled up the Department of Rural Development (DoRD) for issues in implementation of the flagship MGNREGA scheme.
- Issues in the MGNREGA Scheme Observed by the Committee:
- Lack of Work Supply: That too when there was an increase in the demand for work under MGNREGA due to economic distress caused by Covid-19 pandemic.
- Delay in the Release of Funds: It is a huge discouraging aspect and does not go in consonance with the underlying spirit of the scheme.
- Disparity in Wages in Different States: The committee noted how it is possible that a single scheme having the provision of hundred days of guaranteed work to willing people from the rural settings can have different yardstick when it comes to the payment modalities across the length and breadth of the country.
- It is against the Constitutional provision of equal pay for equal work.
- National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP):
- The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) is a welfare programme being administered by the Ministry of Rural Development.
- This programme is being implemented in rural as well as urban areas.
- The programme was first launched on 15th August 1995 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. It was brought within the umbrella of ‘Core of Core’ schemes of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) in 2016.
- Currently, it has five components namely:
- Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) - since inception of NSAP in 1995.
- National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) - 1995.
- Annapurna Scheme - launched in 2000.
- Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS) - launched in 2009.
- Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme - launched in 2009.
- The National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS) was part of NSAP and was subsequently transferred from the Ministry of Rural development to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Important Schemes of Department of Rural Development
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
- Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana - Gramin (PMAY-G)
- Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
- Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM)
- National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
- Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission (SPMRM)
- Saansad Aadarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY)