Despite its poor socio-economic status, India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh continues to be an under-performer when it comes to availing of the benefits of the Centre’s flagship welfare schemes
Despite its poor socio-economic status, India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh continues to be an under-performer when it comes to availing of the benefits of the Centre’s flagship welfare schemes, reports Prasanta Sahu in New Delhi. According to an FE analysis, only 46.34 lakh or 14% of the households in UP got employment under the employment guarantee scheme until January-end this fiscal, against 33% in the comparatively more developed Tamil Nadu and the national average of 18%.
UP’s performance was even worse under the Centre’s heavily subsidised Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. In the last kharif period, 33.95 lakh farmers (mostly those who have taken loans and therefore need mandatory insurance cover) or 15% of the state’s 2.2 crore farmers insured their crops. This compares very poorly with Maharashtra, which saw 80% of its 1.37 crore farmers covered under crop insurance. The national average of insurance coverage under last kharif was 28%.
Despite large-scale pilferage of highly subsidised foodgrains meant for the poor in UP, the state government has failed to comply with the Centre’s directive to integrate the point of sale (PoS) machines at fair price shops (FPSs) with Aadhaar seeding of ration cards to ensure that the subsidy reaches only the intended beneficiaries. Till now, UP has installed PoS machines at only 750 FPSs or a mere 1% of such outlets in the state. Many states like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have installed PoS machines in all their FPSs.
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Despite potholed rural roads in the state, the Centre’s spending on Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana is lower in UP than even Bihar. Up to January 31 of FY17, the Centre spent only Rs 801 crore for UP’s rural roads while it it spent Rs 2,432 crore in Bihar. The Centre spent Rs 9,791 crore on the rural roads scheme across the country during the period.
The BJP has promised to bring about a major improvement in the way flagship schemes are implemented in UP.