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Poverty Alleviation

Schemes for urban poor cleared

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The Hindu               05.09.2013

Schemes for urban poor cleared

Smriti Kak Ramachandran

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the proposal for two flagship schemes of the Union Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation. The schemes are aimed at job-oriented skills training for the urban poor and offering housing to slum dwellers in urban areas.

The CCEA on Tuesday gave its approval for restructuring the centrally-sponsored scheme of Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana in the 12th Plan as the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) and the implementation of Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY). The former will have an allocation of approximately Rs.6,405 crore. The Planning Commission has allocated Rs.32,230 crore for implementation of RAY during 12th Five Year Plan.

Both schemes are considered crucial for the UPA Government ahead of the polls in 2014.

The NULM aims at reducing poverty of urban poor households by offering them avenues for self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities. It will also provide shelter equipped with essential services to the urban homeless in a phased manner. It is designed to address the livelihood concerns of urban street vendors by earmarking suitable spaces, institutional credit, social security and skills to them.

Under the programme, City Livelihood Centres (CLCs) will be established in mission cities to provide a platform to the urban poor to market their services and access information on self-employment, skill training and other benefits. “Through the Self-Employment Programme (SEP), NULM will provide financial assistance to individuals and groups of urban poor to set up gainful self-employment, micro-enterprise ventures,” an official of the Ministry said.

It will be implemented in two phases -- phase I (2013-2017) and phase II (2017-2022). The NULM will target all cities with a population of one lakh or more and district headquarter towns with a population of less than one lakh as per Census 2011.

The CCEA also gave its approval for the implementation of RAY during the mission period 2013-2022. Under RAY, support will be offered to States and UTs and Central Government agencies for providing housing, including rental and transit housing, development and improvement of basic civic and social infrastructure and operation and maintenance of assets created under the scheme.

The Housing for the Urban Poor scheme has been renamed as the Rajiv Rinn Yojana (RRY).

NULM will provide financial assistance to set up gainful self-employment, micro-enterprise ventures.


UPA to woo urban poor with job plan and housing

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The Hindustan Times              03.09.2013

UPA to woo urban poor with job plan and housing

Ahead of the poll season, the Centre has gone into overdrive to woo India’s urban poor. 

Two schemes — one to impart job-oriented skills to help urban poor get gainful employment and another to provide housing to slumdwellers — are likely to be approved by the cabinet on Tuesday. Both schemes are piloted by the Union housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry. 

In 2009, NREGA which targeted the rural poor was perceived by the Congress to be a major vote plank for the UPA. Ahead of the 2014 polls, along with the ambitious food security bill that the Parliament passed on Monday, the UPA hopes to encash on the NULM  and RAY as well.

While the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) proposes to give skill development training to four million poor youth living in cities during the 12th plan period (2012-17), under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) the Centre plans to build about two million houses for the slum dwellers.

RAY is, however, not a new scheme. It was launched in 2011 on a pilot basis. “We are taking it to the cabinet to get it approved for its nationwide launch. An allocation of R35,000 crore has been made for it during the 12th plan,” said an official.

According to a ministry report, 93 million urban residents in India are estimated to be slumdwellers. Under the RAY, while the Centre will  provide between 50% and 70% of the project cost of respective states to redevelop existing slums and create affordable housing, the remaining cost will be borne by states, municipalities and the beneficiaries.

On the other hand, for the NULM an allocation of over R7,000 crore has been made during the 12th plan. Unlike the wage-based National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGA), NULM would help develop the job skill of the poor youth.

NULM proposes to provide placement to those who have been provided skill training. Besides, those opting to start their own enterprise, the government would facilitate financial assistance.

The funding for NULM will be shared between the Centre and states in the ratio of 75: 25.

It will have four components — building community institutions like self-help groups and their federations, employment through skills training and placement, capacity building and training and self-employment programme.


2,000 slum dwellers to get displacement rent

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The Times of India                      16.03.2013

2,000 slum dwellers to get displacement rent

VADODARA: In a first of its kind attempt in the city, Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) is planning to give an allowance towards rent to those slum dwellers, who are displaced because of the construction of housing schemes for the urban poor. These families will be paid Rs 1,000 towards rent.

The VMC had started a major drive to make houses under Jawharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). A novel scheme of 'in situ cum relocation' was adopted wherein the residents of slum pockets were to be displaced only for the period when the houses came up there.

While this was successful in the first phase of the construction of the housing schemes, in the second there were some hiccups and a petition was also filed in Gujarat high court. The VMC had reached a settlement with the petitioners in the case and agreed to provide slum dwellers alternative housing before their houses were razed. But some slum dwellers did not vacate houses even after they were given residences, thus delaying the entire process.

In an attempt to avoid such hiccups in the third and fourth phase of the housing schemes under JnNURM, the civic body had included a proposal of giving rent to the residents in its detailed project reports. But the component was not cleared. The VMC itself is now considering to bear the rent amounting to Rs 1,000.

It has been proposed that the civic body pay rent to 2,210 families residing in various areas of the city. The civic body will have to pay over Rs 5.3 crore as rent for a period of two years to such families. The proposal has been put up before the standing committee which will take a decision on Saturday.
Last Updated on Saturday, 16 March 2013 10:12

Magnitude of urban poverty rising

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The New Indian Express                      15.03.2013

Magnitude of urban poverty rising

The magnitude of urban poverty in the state is increasing, according to the Economic Review 2012 released here on Thursday.

Nine risk factors have been considered for  determining poverty of households. Those with less than 5 cents of land or no land, with dilapidated house or no house, no sanitary facilities,  no access to safe drinking water within 150 metres, woman- headed household, no regular employed member in family, socially disadvantaged group, mentally retarded, disabled, chronically ill member in the family and families without colour TV have been considered as factors for determining the  poverty. Any family having 4 or more such risk  factors is classified as family at risk of poverty.

The increase in poverty is due to the stagnation in manufacturing industry resulting in lower income for urban dwellers. Due to rapid increase in land prices and construction costs, a good number of urban people in Kerala are forced to live in slums, the report says.   Availability of drinking water and sanitation facilities are grossly inadequate. Urbanisation has an important impact in social and economic development and is associated with many problems, the Review says.

Urbanisation is related to issues like migration from villages to towns and relative cost of providing economic and social services in towns of varying sizes, providing housing,  water, sanitation facilities, transport and power.  Only one-fourth of the households in slums  have electricity. While rural poverty is getting concentrated in the agricultural labour and artisans households, urban poverty results in casual labour households.

Kudumbashree Mission had played a role in alleviation of poverty to a certain extent. The Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) had received Rs 138 crore through linkage banking as on September 30, 2012. The Economic Review states that 97,993 NHGs had availed linkage banking so far.


Central fund to meet urban challenges

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The Times of India                       13.03.2013  

Central fund to meet urban challenges

BHUBANESWAR: Major problems of urban poor in city are likely to be solved soon under 'challenge fund' project, a programme launched by Union ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation last year. The Centre has identified Bhubaneswar and Bhawanipatna among 40 cities in India under the programme to improve socio-economic condition of urban poor. Official sources said the ministry has allocated approximately Rs 51.30 crore under the project.

The challenge fund would help the cities address major constraints in urban development and specifically focus on capacity building for successful urban management and poverty reduction. Technical and financial support will also be extended to urban local bodies (ULB) for adopting and replicating good practices.

Beneficiaries under the fund will be urban poor and other marginalised groups, including women, socially- excluded and disadvantageous groups, pavement-dwellers, disabled and children.

"Urban local bodies of Bhubaneswar and Bhawanipatna would identify areas and issues of the urban poor, which need to be addressed under the scheme. Beneficiary cities can get support for adopting or replicating around four to five good practices," housing and urban development (H&UD) department deputy secretary Anjana Panda told TOI.

Sources said the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to utilize the funds for giving facelift to street vending in the city. "Since the fund would support best practices of urban local bodies, we want to utilize it for streamlining street vending," said a senior BMC officer. "Besides, we will also prepare a plan seeking funds for improving health and sanitation in slums," the officer said.

The beneficiary cities have been asked to rope in civil society groups, research and academic institutions and private sector in taking up innovative poverty alleviation projects. The project proposals should be innovative in nature, where innovativeness is defined as an initiative, which may either be a totally new concept or may have a new approach towards an existing solution, said another H&UD department officer.

The challenge fund will be operational till June, 2016. The Centre has formed a core management unit for overall management of the fund.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 11:52
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