Government Schemes

Bharat Nirman
Bharat Nirman was launched on december 16 2005.This scheme aims at developing the rural infrastructure. The duration of implementing this scheme is 4 years.The major 6 sectors and their targets for the next 4 years:

To link all the villages of 1000 population with roads and also to link all the St and Hill villages upto 500 population with roads.
Create 1 crore hectare of irrigation potential. 6 million hectare from major and medium projects, 3 million hectare for ground water development and 1 million hectare for minor irrigation projects
Water Supply
Cover of 55,067 uncovered habitations. Provide additional coverage to 2.8 lakh habitations that have slipped back from full coverage. Provide potable water in 2,16,968 villages affected by poor water quality.

Provide 60 lakh houses at the rate of 15 lakh houses each year to be built by funds allocated to the homeless through Panchayats.
Provide electricity to 1,25,000 villages by grid based supply or in remote and inaccessible areas through alternative technologies.
Telephone Connections
Provide telephone connection to 66,822 number of villages without a telephone and replace presently dysfunctional systems.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
Government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana on 25th December, 2000 to provide all-weather access to unconnected habitations. The Pradhan Mantri Gram PMGSY is a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme. 50% of the Cess on High Speed Diesel (HSD) is earmarked for this Programme. to provide connectivity to unconnected rural Habitations as part of a poverty reduction strategy.
In the first phase, habitations (hamlets) of population of 1000 (500 in the case of Hill States, tribal and Desert areas) and above will be covered. In the second phase habitations of population of 500(250 in the case of Hill States ,tribal and Desert areas ) will be covered.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
The 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan' (Hindi: The 'Education for All' Movement, sometimes referred to as "each one teach one") is a flagship programme of the Government of India launched in 2001 for achievement of universalization of elementary education in a time bound manner, as mandated by the 86th amendment to the Constitution of India making free and compulsory education to children of ages 6-14 (estimated to be 205 million in number in 2001) a fundamental right. The programme aims to achieve the goal of universalization of elementary education of satisfactory quality by 2010.

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana
Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana was formally launched on October 1, 2007. The objective of RSBY is to protect below poverty line (BPL) households from major health shocks that involve hospitalization. Specifically, BPL families are entitled to more than 700 in-patient procedures with a cost of up to 30,000 rupees per annum for a nominal registration fee of 30 rupees. Pre-exisiting conditions are covered and there is no age limit. Coverage extends to the head of household, spouse and up to three dependent children or parents.Government contributes 75% of the annual estimated premium while state government contributes 25%.

National Rural Health Mission
National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was launched by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on 12th April 2005.. NRHM seeks to provide effective healthcare to rural and urban population throughout the state with special focus on the backward districts with weak human development and health indicators especially among the poor and marginalized groups like women and the vulnerable sections of the society.

Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
JNNURM was launched by the Govt. of India in December 2005 to encourage creation of financially sustainable inclusive cities. The objective of the Mission is to give focused attention to planned development of identified cities including peri-urban areas, outgrowths and urban corridors to foster dispersed urbanization, ensure adequate funds to meet the deficiencies in urban infrastructural services, provide basic services to the urban poor including security of tenure at affordable prices, improved housing, water supply and sanitation, ensure delivery of other existing universal services of the Government for education, health and social security and establishment of linkages between asset-creation and asset-management.
The Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP) and Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP) under JNNURM are dealt by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.

Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana
The Government on October 2, 2007 launched the ‘Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana’ (AABY) through Life Insurances Corporation to provide death and disability cover to rural landless households. Under the scheme, the head of the family or one earning member in the family will be insured. The benefits under the scheme include Rs.30,000 in case of natural death; Rs. 75,000 in case of death due to accident or total permanent disability due to accident. In case of partial disability due to accident, the insurance cover would be Rs. 37,500.

Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana
Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) was launched on 1st April, 1999 with a holistic view to cover all the aspects of self employment such as organization of the poor into self-help groups, training, credit, technology, infrastructure and marketing. This programme was started after restructuring the erstwhile Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) and its allied programmes namely Training of Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM), Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWACRA), Supply of Toolkits in Rural Areas (SITRA), Ganga Kalyan Yojana (GKY) and Million Wells Scheme (MWS).

Swarnajayanthi Gram Swarojgar Yojana
          SGSY targets rural families below poverty line (BPL) with the basic objective to bring the assisted families above the poverty line. Within the target population, the programme in particular focuses on the vulnerable groups i.e. scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, women and disabled with the inherent aim to mobilize them into establishing small rural enterprises based on their own potential.

Rural Infrastructure Development Fund
The Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF). The RIDF is the main instrument to channel bank funds for financing rural infrastructure, through State Governments. The corpus of RIDF was increased from Rs.5,500 crore in 2003-04 to Rs.14 thousand crore for the year 2008 .

Project Arrow.
The Department of Posts has launched “Project Arrow” to revitalize its core operations and to provide new technology enabled services to both rural and urban Indians. So far this has been successfully implemented in 500 post offices in the country. This Project will receive full government support as it will enhance the services offered to India and will also lay the foundation for a vibrant delivery mechanism for many social sector schemes such as Pensions, and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana
Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) was launched in April-05 by merging all ongoing schemes.Under the programme 90% grant is provided by Govt. of India and 10% as loan by REC to the State Governments. REC is the nodal agency for the programme.
The RGGVY aims at:
· Electrifying all villages and habitations as per new definition
· Providing access to electricity to all rural households
· Providing electricity Connection to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families free of charge.
Tamil Nadu to introduce ‘samadhan' scheme
The Tamil Nadu Government is set to revise the guideline value of property and introduce a ‘samadhan' scheme for settlement of disputes in stamp duty and commercial taxes.
According to the policy note of the Registration Department, there has been a manifold increase in real estate price following the last revision of guideline values in August 2007.
The Government has taken steps to constitute valuation committees at the State and District levels realign guideline values with market rates.
The State-level committee will be headed by the Inspector General of Registration and district level sub-committees by the District Collectors. Work is on in all the 32 districts.
The State Government is also planning to introduce a ‘samadhan' scheme to resolve the disputes relating to stamp duty and fixation of market value for documents to be registered. A notification is expected soon and this would help free Rs 125 crore of money locked up pending a decision on the market value.
The revenue to the department from documents registered has grown to Rs 5,020.50 crore 2010-11 from a jump of 20 per cent over that of the previous year when the revenue was Rs 3,818.25.
The number of documents registered also increased to 32.80 lakh (27.31 lakh).

Commercial Taxes
           Revenue collection by the Commercial Taxes Department is Rs 11,722 crore as of July 2011-12.
This is a 20 per cent jump over that of the same period in the previous year. In 2010-11, the total revenue was Rs 31,117 crore.
The policy note on commercial taxes also mentions plans to introduce a ‘samadhan' scheme for expediting dispute resolution of arrears.
The scheme relating to arrears under the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act is likely to be October 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012.
The Government has said that following the introduction of Value-Added Tax from the earlier TNGST in January 2007, the State Government has claimed compensation of Rs 4,011.80 crore for VAT loss.
However, only Rs 3,361.36 crore has been received and the balance of Rs 650.44 is pending.
On revenue loss following the phasing out of Central Sales Tax due to introduction of VAT, the net amount payable by the Centre is Rs 4,188.38 crore as of 2009-10 but Rs 2,577.58 crore has been received leaving a shortfall of Rs 1,610.80 crore.
For 2010-11, a compensation claim of Rs 2,309.24 crore has been sent based on previous years guidelines as the Centre is yet to announced the guidelines for the year.
Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana-New Dimensions
The ‘Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana’ for BPL families ( a unit of five)  in Unorganised Sector was launched on 1st October, 2007 and became operational from April 1, 2008.   Under the scheme, smart card based cashless health insurance cover of Rs. 30,000/- per annum on a family floater basis is provided to a BPL family in the organized sector.  The premium is shared on 75:25 basis by Centre and State Government. In case of States of North-East region and Jammu & Kashmir, the premium is shared in the ratio of 90:10.  The scheme provides for portability of smart card by the splitting the card value for migrant workers.
Till July 31, 2011,  27 States/Union Territories have initiated the process to implement the scheme.  Out of these 27 States/ UTs, 25 States namely  Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh,  Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana,  Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Tamilnadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Chandigarh Administration have started issuing smart cards. More than 2.4 crore smart cards have been issued as on July 31, 2011. Remaining States except, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan which have their own health insurance schemes, are in the process of implementation of the scheme. 
            RSBY has been extended to building and other construction workers registered under the Building and other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) Act, 1996 and street vendors, beedi workers, MGNREGA beneficiaries who have worked for more than 15 days during the preceding financial year and Domestic Workers. 

Basic features of the Scheme
·         All the BPL families in the unorganized sector to be covered in five years under the scheme;
·         The Government contributes 75% of the annual premium.  State Governments to contribute 25%.  Administrative cost to be borne by the State Governments. In case of North-East region, the premium is shared in the ratio of 90:10;
·         Beneficiaries are issued Smart Cards;
·         Total sum insured would be Rs. 30,000/- per family per annum on a family floater basis;
·         Cashless transaction;
·         All pre-existing diseases to be covered;
·         Hospitalisation expenses, taking care of most of the illnesses including maternity benefit;
·         Transportation cost of Rs. 100/- per visit with an overall limit of Rs. 1,000/- per annum within the limit of Rs. 30000/- and
·         Projects are prepared by the State Governments and submitted for approval of the Inter-Ministerial Approval and Monitoring Committee constituted by the Central Government.

Unique Features Of The Scheme
·         The use of smart card, making the scheme truly cashless as also providing     interoperability to facilitate use by migrant labour;
·         Use of IT applications on such a large scale for the poorest of the poor;
·         Using both public and private service providers for delivering the insurance package;
·         Evolving a business model which could make the scheme sustainable in the   long  run;
·         Seeking contribution for the first time, by way of Registration fee, from the BPL beneficiary with a view to inculcating a sense of ownership in them and
·         No age limit has been prescribed. Hence, senior citizens are also covered.

Schemes for Agricultural Labourers

            The Union Labour & Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge has informed the Rajya Sabha that Aam Admi Bima Yojana (AABY) was launched on 02.10.2007 with a view to providing insurance cover to the head of family or one earning member of  rural landless households.  The member should be aged between 18 years and 59 years. Under the scheme, the head of the family or an earning member of the family is eligible to receive the benefits of Rs. 30,000/-  in case of natural death,  Rs.75,000/- accidental death, Rs. 75000/- for total  permanent disability (loss of two eyes or two limbs or loss of one eye or one limb in accident) and Rs. 37,500/- for partial permanent disability ( loss of one eye and one limb in accident).  The  premium under the scheme is Rs. 200/- per member per annum equally shared in the ratio of 50:50 between Central Government and respective State Government/ Union Territory.   AABY also includes Shiksha Sahyog Yojana (SSY), a free add-on benefit of scholarship of Rs. 100 per month up to a maximum of two children of the beneficiaries studying between class IX and XII. A Statement showing State-wise number of lives covered, including Madhya Pradesh, under Aam Admi Bima Yojana is annexed.

National Electronic Mission
The Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology, Shri Sachin Pilot today informed Lok Sabha in written reply to a question that the Government proposes to set up National Electronic Mission on the recommendation of Task Force on Information Technology. The Task Force has made 198 recommendations.

The Task Force has suggested several measures for rapid growth of the industry and has outlined a roadmap for the industry in the medium and long-term. According to the Task Force, with suitable policy initiatives in place, the software and services sector has the potential to grow from USD 58.7 billion in 2009 to USD 105 billion by 2014 and USD 225 billion by 2020, with exports growing from USD 46.3 billion in 2009 to USD 82 billion by 2014 and USD 175 billion by 2020. Similarly, the electronics hardware production in the country is projected to grow from USD 20 billion in 2009 to USD 100 billion by 2014 and USD 400 billion by 2020. This includes experts of USD 4 billion in 2009 growing to USD 15 billion by 2014 and USD 80 billion by 2020.

In the software and services sector the employment generation (direct and indirect) is projected to grow from 10.2 million in 2009 to 15.9 million by 2014 and 30.0 million by 2020 and is electronics hardware sector, it is projected to grow from 4.4 million in 2009 to 16.1 million by 2014 and 27.8 million by 2020.
Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana extended to the Domestic Workers
The Union Cabinet approved extension of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) to all the registered domestic workers in the country recently. The scheme is expected to cover approximately 47.50 lakh domestic workers in the country.

            The Scheme envisages smart card based cashless health insurance cover up to Rs. 30,000/- in any empanelled hospital anywhere in the country. The funds will be allocated from the National Social Security Fund for Unorganised Workers. The premium will be shared by the Central and State Governments in the ratio of 75:25. In case of States in NE Regional and J&K the ratio is 90:10. The estimated expenditure to be borne by the  Government for the year 2011-12 is Rs. 29.70 crore, for 2012-13 is Rs. 74.25 crore, for 2013-14 is Rs. 148.50 crore and 2014-15 is Rs. 297 crore.

            Domestic work forms one of the largest sectors of female employment in the urban areas. Domestic workers are unorganized and the sector remains unregulated and unprotected by labour laws. These workers come from vulnerable communities and backward areas. Most of these are poor, vulnerable, illiterate, unskilled and do not understand the urban labour market.

            The RSBY provides for smart card based cashless health insurance cover of Rs.30,000/- per annum to BPL workers (a unit of five) in unorganised sector is presently being implemented in 25 States / UTs. The scheme has since been extended to building and other construction workers registered with Welfare Boards constituted under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1996, street vendors, beedi workers and such MNREGA workers who have worked for more than 15 days during the preceding year.

Domestic Workers

Domestic work forms one of the largest sectors of female employment in the urban areas. Domestic workers are unorganized and the sector remains unregulated and unprotected by labour laws. This is largely because the domestic workers undertake work in private homes rather than in commercial establishments. They work in appalling conditions, with no coverage under the existing welfare measures and schemes for social security, old age pension, health and maternity protection etc.  Domestic workers lack organizational strength and voice and comprise largely of unskilled women, who enter the labour market without any technical skills.  As per National Sample Survey (NSS) 2004-05, there are about 47.50 lakh domestic workers in the country. About 30 lakh of these workers are urban women, making domestic work as the largest female occupation in urban India.

 Domestic workers come from vulnerable communities and backward areas. Most of these are poor, vulnerable, illiterate, unskilled and do not understand the urban labour market. Domestic work is undervalued and poorly regulated, and many domestic workers remain overworked, underpaid and unprotected. They are maltreated, exploited and suffer violence and even sexually abused.  The main issues that concern domestic work are: lack of decent wages and work conditions, no defined work time, no weekly offs, loneliness, violence, abuse, and sexual harassment at workplace, victimization at the hands of traffickers/ placement agencies, forced migration, lack of welfare measures (such as health insurance, maternity protection, old age security), and lack of skills development resulting in stagnation and no career growth. 

 Looking at the vulnerable nature of the domestic workers, the Ministry of Labour & Employment constituted a Task Force to evolve a policy frame work on Domestic Workers in the context of regulatory mechanism and for providing social security. The Task Force in its Report has, inter-alia, recommended extension of the welfare schemes to the domestic workers including: health and maternity benefits, death and disability benefits, and old age benefits. The Task Force defined the “domestic workers” as follows:

“Domestic Worker” means, a person who is employed for remuneration whether in cash or kind , in any house hold through any agency or directly, either on a temporary basis or permanent, part time or full time to do the household work but does not include - any member of the family of an employer.”

The State Governments would identify domestic workers as those having completed 18 years of age. For the purpose of identification of domestic workers, any two of the following criteria would be treated as evidence of persons working as domestic workers:

·         certificate by registered Resident Welfare Association to the effect that a person is working as a domestic worker in the area;
·         employer certificate
·         certificate from a registered trade union that the concerned person is working as a domestic worker;
·         police verification certificate which certifies that the person is working as a domestic worker.

The Task Force has recommended that the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), the national health insurance scheme should be the first welfare scheme to be extended to the domestic workers.  RSBY provides for smart card based cashless health insurance cover of Rs. 30000 per annum per family (a unit of five).  The premium is shared between Centre and State Government in the ratio of 75:25 basis.   25 States/Union Territories have started enrollment and issuance of smart cards in 348 districts. Remaining States except Andhra Pradesh are in the process of implementation of the scheme.  More than 2.35 crore smart cards have been issued as on June 30, 2011.  

The Government  has taken a decision to extend the RSBY to domestic workers. It is proposed to cover 10% of the estimated 47.50 lakh domestic workers i.e. 4.75 lakh during the current financial year i.e.  2011-12 and remaining in next three years.   After 2014-15 the recurring expenditure is likely to be around Rs. 297 crores annually, though the exact amount will be determined on the basis of persons identified and registered as domestic workers under the scheme during each preceding year and the actual premium rates. The expenditure will be met from the National Social Security Fund for unorganized sector workers administered by Ministry of Finance.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) also discussed at length during the last International Labour Conference on International Convention for protecting the rights of domestic workers and for providing social security to this extremely vulnerable segment of unorganised workers and adopted a Convention and Recommendation. The Government  of India supported adoption of Convention on Domestic Workers.
National Workshop on Social Audit of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGs)
The Union Ministry of Rural Development is organizing a National workshop on Social Audit of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGs) at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 19th July 2011. It was earlier scheduled to be held in Pune on 18th July. The day long workshop is aimed at sharing roadmap for implementation of the Audit of rules under MGNREGA by the States and seek clarifications from the Ministry. It will also provide a platform to share best practices and impact studies on the implementation of MGNREGs with the States. Union Minister of Rural Development Shri Jairam Ramesh will preside over the function. Representatives from State Governments and Union Territories have been invited to attend the workshop along with the nodal officer of the departments coordinating the action to be taken for implementing the social audit rules of MGNREGA.

Rural Development Ministry has Under Section 24 (I) of the Mahatma Gandhi NREG Act in consultation with the Comptroller & Auditor General of India, notified in the Gazette on 30th June 2011, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Audit of Scheme Rules, 2011. Simultaneously, the notification deleting Para 13 (b) of Schedule I to the Act has also been issued on 30th June, 2011.

Laying down the rules for Social Audit of MGNREGA is a major step in making social audit the principal instrument for transparency and accountability in its implementation. It is meant to put in place an independent institutional mechanism to increase the awareness of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA workers about their rights and entitlement under Mahatma Gandhi NREGS. It aims to provide a platform for the rural poor to express their opinion about the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi NREGS and thus, encourage public participation in the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi NREGS leading to strengthening of the program.
Expanding the National Rural Livelihoods Project (NLRP) under NRLM
The Ministry Of Rural Development would be entering into an agreement with the World Bank for soft loan worth US$1 billion (approximately Rs. 4,600 crores) to implement the  National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP) under National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) at Krishi Bhawan on Monday. The distribution of project funds among the states would be based on the relative share of rural BPL population in the total states. The investment in one of the world’s largest poverty reduction initiatives would help in setting up of an institutional platform by mobilizing rural poor, particularly women, into robust grassroots institutions of their own where, with the strength of the group behind them, they will be able to exert voice and accountability over providers of educational, health, nutritional and financial services.

NRLP will assist in professionalization of the overall program management of NRLM  by shifting the focus of expenditure-based allocation, to provide quality technical assistance and results-based financing.  It will also make investments in developing a wider base of implementing partnerships with private sector, civil society, and other development institutions for bringing in new ideas, innovations, services, and delivery mechanisms. NRLP   will invest intensively in support implementation of NRLM in 100 districts and 400 blocks of 12 high poverty states (Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu), accounting for 85 percent of the rural poor in the country. The aim is to create best practice sites and to develop them as local immersion locations and generate critical pool of social capital for catalyzing social mobilization of the poor and building quality institutions of the poor. The sequence will include the following:

  •   social inclusion through participatory identification of the poor and universal social mobilization;
  •   building institutional platforms of the poor in the form of SHG federations, producer collectives, etc.;
  •   developing social capital in the form of trained community leaders, community resources persons and para-professionals providing livelihood services to the poor;
  • micro-planning and investments for livelihoods enhancement; (v) access to credit from formal financial institutions available in desired amounts and convenient repayment terms;
  •   convergence with other entitlements and programs such as MGNREGS, pensions, etc.; and
  •   building sustainable livelihoods options for the poor by developing activity/trade clusters supporting farm and non-farm enterprises focused on productivity improvement and market access.

Government has restructured one of its key rural development programs, the SGSY, through the establishment of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) with a clear objective of rural poverty reduction through creation and strengthening institutional platforms of the rural poor. It is being implemented in 28 states and 7 union territories in India. NRLM is one of the world's largest poverty reduction initiatives aimed at reaching out to 350 million people, almost a quarter of India's population. Based on the past experience in several states, NLRP is expected to have a transformational social impact, supporting India's efforts to achieve the millennium development goals (MDG) on nutrition, gender and poverty.
Knowledge about Mahatma Gandhi NREGA

1) When was the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA passed by the Indian Parliament?
a) 26th August 2004
b) 23rd August 2004
c) 23rd August 2005
d) 26th August 2005
Answer: (C)

2) When was the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act Notified?
a) 8th September 2005
b) 6th September 2005
c) 5th September 2005
d) 7th September 2005
Answer: (D) 

3) Which state had passed an Employment Guarantee Act in 1976?
a) Rajasthan
b) Madhya Pradesh
c) Maharashtra
d) Gujarat
Answer: (C) 

4) Is there a limit on the number of days of guaranteed employment over the year?
a) 100 days
b) upto 100 days
c) 200 days
d) 150 days
Answer: (B)
NAC's seven-point test for land acquisition bill
The National Advisory Council (NAC) has prescribed a seven-point test for a having a humane legistlation on land acquisition and rehabilitation.
In a letter to the government, the NAC chaired by Sonia Gandhi, has suggested a check list of seven parameters which includes provisions for a rehabilitation package that is sensitive to the aspirations of the affected people.
"Does it discourage forced displacement? Does it minimise adverse impacts on people, habitats, environment and biodiversity? Does it minimise adverse impacts on food security by actively discouraging acquisition of agricultural land, and promoting local economies?
"Does it comprehensively define project affected persons/families? Does it provide for a just compensation and rehabilitation package, sensitive to the aspirations, culture, community, natural resource base and skill base of the affected people?
"Does it ensure humane, participatory, informed, consultative and transparent process" Does it provide for effective implementation?"
"The test for any such legislation should be on these parameters," said the letter sent by the NAC to the government.
The NAC also wants the Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act to make violation of the law by public officials a punishable offence.
"Penal provisions for violations (by public officials), in the form of fines imposed on public officials who fail based on their job charts issued by the state government, must be included in the statute," the NAC said.
The NAC has suggested that the land acquired for project that remains unused should be returned to the displaced families with a nominal cost recovery.
The recommendation also includes a provision for the government to notify the amenities to be provided at resettlement sites.
"The basic amenities with minimum standards shall be mandatorily provided at the new site. These include roads, safe drinking water, hygiene, educational facilities, community hall, and basic irrigation facilities at project cost," the NAC said in its communication to the government.
It also recommended setting up of a National Commission for Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (NLCRR) with powers to supervise and exercise oversight over land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation.
"The NCLRR shall have a chairperson, and four members of relevant skills and experience, and independence, at least two of whom should be women, and at least one of them SC and one ST," the NAC letter said.
It suggested that the process of appointments to NCLRR should be similar to the Central Information Commission under the Right to Information Act.
The NCLRR should be tasked with promoting public accountability and ensuring compliance with legally established policies, procedures and practices.
The Commission should also mediate and respond to complaints and disputes in the capacity of an ombusdman and also fix responsibility on public officials for lapses and awarding fines.
The NCLRR should also provide strategic advice to the government, the NAC said.
Extension of medical facilities to beedi workers under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana
The Cabinet today approved extension of medical facilities to beedi workers under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). The beedi worker and his family (unit of five) will be covered and the total sum insured would Rs.30,000/-. The other benefits and procedures under the scheme will be the same as under RSBY. Any claims beyond Rs.30,000/- will be reimbursed directly by the related Welfare Commissioner to the concerned empanelled hospital through the existing procedure.

The estimated expenditure to be borne by the Central Government is approximately Rs.311.25 crore (this includes 75% of the premium and the cost of the smart cards). The annual premium is estimated at Rs.750 per annum of which 75% would be as Central share and the State Government’s share would be 25%.

The State Government will identify and register beedi workers. It is proposed to cover 10 lakh beedi worker in the current financial year and cover 100% of the total beedi workers by the year 2013-14.

At present, the health needs of these beedi workers are being met through 204 dispensaries and only 7 hospitals. The beedi industry is primarily a home based labour intensive industry which provides employment to about 55 lakh workers (out of which Identity Cards have been issued to 49.80 lakh beedi workers) mainly in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Triupra and West Bengal. The Beedi Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1976 has been enacted to provide for financing of measures to promote the welfare of beedi workers. Several welfare schemes ahve been formulated under the Beedi Workers Welfare Fund to extend Health care, Housing, Educational, Social Security benefits etc., to beedi workers and their family members.


The beedi worker is not in a position to spend money from his own pocket initially and get the reimbursement. As such, the existing health schemes do not serve the very purpose of proper health care. On the other hand, majority of the beedi workers do not fall under the BPL category. Hence, they are deprived of the benefits of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), presently implemented for BPL category only.

Keeping in view the Social Security to be provided for unorganised sector workers including beedi workers, it is proposed to bring all beedi workers under the net of RSBY, as a beneficiary of RSBY to get cashless benefit in any of the empanelled hospitals throughout India.
PM Chairs High Level Committee on Manufacturing
The draft National Manufacturing Policy was given in-principle approval at a meeting of the High Level Committee on Manufacturing, held under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister and attended by the Finance Minister, Commerce and Industries Minister, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Ministers for Environment and Forests, Corporate Affairs, and the Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council.

Commerce and Industries Minister presented the draft Manufacturing Policy prepared by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, in consultation with the NMCC and the Planning Commission. This draft Policy has been finalized after stakeholder consultations with concerned Ministries, State governments and industry associations.

The Policy has, as its objectives, the increase in the sectoral share of manufacturing in GDP from the present 16% to at least 25% by 2025 and increase in the rate of job creation in manufacturing to create 100 million additional jobs by 2025.

The creation of National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs), as mega investment regions equipped with world-class infrastructure, has been proposed as a major policy instrument.

The Prime Minister observed that the policy measures proposed would reduce the compliance burden on industry. At the same time, these measures have to be formulated while adequately taking care of the environmental and labour welfare concerns. He directed that these issues may be further discussed at the Ministerial level. He further directed that this consultation process may be completed within one month, so that the National Manufacturing Policy can be brought before the Cabinet and the final Policy announced, which will send a positive message to the investing community.

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