Day 25 – Q 1.Does economic empowerment through poverty alleviation schemes and various other financial supports lead to social empowerment? Critically examine.
1. Does economic empowerment through poverty alleviation schemes and various other financial supports lead to social empowerment? Critically examine.
क्या गरीबी उन्मूलन योजनाओं और अन्य वित्तीय सहायता के माध्यम से आर्थिक सशक्तिकरण सामाजिक सशक्तिकरण को जन्म देता है? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।
India, being a welfare state, has many poverty eradication and poverty minimization programs, and provides subsidies and pension schemes to poor people below the poverty line for their socio-economic empowerment.
Some of the poverty elevation programs and schemes for Socio-Economic empowerment are:
- National Rural Livelihood Mission- employment to the rural poor.
- Food Security Bill- one of the largest food security schemes across the world.
- Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna- provides skill training to youth.
- Farm Loan Waiver
- 10% Quota to Economically Weaker Sections
- National Social Assistance Program- pension for elderly people and destitute women.
- MGNREGA– for livelihood security of the rural poor by generating wage employment.
- Ayushman Bharat Mission– to provide health security to poor people.
- Educational Scholarships to SC, ST, Minorities.
- Subsidies in LPG and electricity connection.
Economic Empowerment through Poverty Alleviation Schemes Leads to Social Empowerment:
- With these schemes and supports, India halved its poverty rate in the last 10 years. In absolute terms, the number of poor fell from 630 million to 360 million during this period. So it is evident that these schemes are reducing poverty.
- Through public expenditure on social consumption needs — provision of PDS for food grains, education, health and water supply—people’s living standard improves.
- Programmes supplement the consumption of the poor, create employment opportunities and bring about improvements in health and education.
- Better availability of material goods such as cooking fuel, sanitation facilities, and household assets leads to a decrease in poverty headcount.
Counter Arguments: Despite poverty minimization programs by various government schemes, the situation is worrisome as more than 22 per cent of the population still live in poverty. Reasons for the continuation of poverty in India can be attributed to:
- Weak implementation and corruption of schemes. Ex. fudging of MGNREGA payroll registers, Leakages in PDS system.
- Limited government resources when compared to the population.
- Neglecting areas for development leading to insurgency and Naxalism. This further perpetuates poverty as insurgents block government efforts to address poverty in the area.
- High illiteracy leads to lack of awareness regarding their Rights as beneficiaries in the schemes, leading to denying of rights as well as providing avenues for corruption.
- Lack of accountability and low scope for social audit of the schemes.
- Weak healthcare infrastructure leads to out of pocket expenditure pushes people back into the poverty who are at the boundary of the poverty line.
- Farm loan being criticized as it was a temporary relief from the debts; it is not a long term solution to the main problem of poor farmers.
After so many years after independence, the continuation of poverty is a poor indicator of the performance of government and needs redressal. Steps must be taken to improve the situation such as:
- Fulfilling basic necessities of people such as food, education and health. Government efforts such as NFSM, Ayushman Bharat etc should be implemented in letter and spirit.
- PDS should be made robust and leak proof.
- Use of ICT and JAM trinity for better delivery and transparency.
- Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) so that people use the cash to buy goods of their choice from open markets.
- Universal Basic Income (UBI) to be provided to the poor female household.