Self-Employment with the help of Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)
The Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) aims at providing self-employment to the rural poor through acquisition of productive assets or appropriate skills that would generate additional income on a sustained basis to enable them to cross the poverty line. Assistance is provided in the form of subsidy and bank credit. The target group consists largely of small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers and rural artisans living below the poverty line. The pattern of subsidy is 25 per cent for small farmers, 33-1/3 per cent for marginal farmers, agricultural labourers and rural artisans and 50 per cent for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes families and physically handicapped persons. The ceiling for subsidy is Rs.6000/- for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes families and the physically handicapped; for others, it is Rs.4000/- in non-DPAP/non-DDP areas and Rs.5000/- in DPAP and DDP areas. Within the target group, there is an assured coverage of 50 per cent for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, 40 per cent for women and 3 per cent for the physically handicapped. Priority in assistance is also given to the families belonging to the assignees of ceiling surplus land, Green Card Holders covered under the Family Welfare Programme and freed bonded labourers. Allocation Funds for IRDP IRDP is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme that is in operation in all the blocks of the country since 1980. Under this scheme Central funds are allocated to States on the basis of proportion of rural poor in a State to the total rural poor in the country. Since the inception of the programme till 1996-97, 50.99 million families have been covered under IRDP at an expenditure of Rs.11434.27 crore. The total investment during this period has been Rs.28047.65 crore which includes a subsidy component of Rs.9669.97 crore and a credit disbursement of Rs.18377.68 crore. Of the total families assisted under this programme 44.75 per cent were Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and 27.07 per cent women. During the Eighth Five Year Plan the total allocation (Centre and State) under IRDP was Rs.5048.29 crore and the total investment amounted to Rs.11541.06 crore. In quantitative numbers, 10.82 million families were covered under IRDP against the initial target of 12.6 million families fixed for the entire Eighth Plan period. However, from 1995-96 physical targeting under the programme was abolished with the focus shifting to financial targets and qualitative parameters. Of the families covered 50.06 per cent were Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and 33.59 per cent women. The coverage of women was still lower than the target of 40 per cent. The IRDP has been successful in providing incremental income to the poor families, but in most cases the incremental income has not been adequate to enable the beneficiaries to cross the poverty line on a sustained basis mainly because of a low per family investment. The results of the last Concurrent Evaluation (September 1992 - August 1993) revealed that of the total beneficiaries assisted under the programme, 15.96 per cent of the old beneficiary families could cross the revised poverty line of Rs.11,000 (at 1991-92 prices), while 54.4 per cent of the families were able to cross the old poverty line of Rs.6,400 per annum. But, the analysis by income group of families revealed that in case of those within initial income of Rs.8501 – 11,000, 48.22% of beneficiary families could cross the poverty line of Rs.11, 000 which is quite encouraging. The analysis of the family income of the beneficiaries reveals that a large percentage (57.34%) of the families had annual family income from assets of more than Rs.2000. The annual income from the asset was more than Rs.6000 in 29% cases. The major constraint in the implementation...
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