For providing employment opportunities to the poor the Integrated Rural Development Program had been launched. Besides providing the necessary subsidies to people below poverty line, this scheme also helps them to enhance their living standards.
The Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) was launched by the Government of India during 1978 and implemented during 1980. The aim of the program is to provide employment opportunities to the poor as well as opportunities to develop their skill sets so as to improve their living conditions. The program is considered one of the best yojanas to do away with poverty related problems by offering those who fell below the poverty line the necessary subsidies in tandem with employment opportunities.
Objective of the Integrated Rural Development Program
The objective of Integrated Rural Development Program is to help families who live below the poverty line to enhance their state of living and to empower the poor by helping them develop at every level. The program’s objectives are met by providing productive assets and inputs to its target groups. The assets, which could be in the primary, secondary or tertiary sector are provided as financial assistance to these families in the form of government subsidies as well as loans or credit from financial institutions.
Beneficiaries of the Integrated Rural Development Program
The beneficiaries of this program are as follows:
- Rural artisans
- Marginal Farmers
- Scheduled castes and scheduled tribes
- Economically backward classes with an annual income of less that Rs 11,000
Subsidies provided under the Integrated Rural Development Program
Subsidies are provided to the following people as follows:
- Small farmers (25%)
- Marginal farmers and Agricultural labourers (33.33%)
- SC/ST families and differently abled people (50%)
The maximum amount of subsidy amount has been fixed at Rs 6,000 for SC/ST families and differently abled people, Rs 4,000 for non DPAP and non DDP localities and Rs 5,000 for DPAP and DDP localities.
From this group SC/ST candidates, women and differently abled people are guaranteed subsidies of 50%, 40% and 3% respectively. First priority is also given to those among this group who have been assigned the ceiling surplus land while the Green card holders who fall under the category of free bonded labourers and family welfare programmes are also given first priority.
Implementation of the Integrated Rural Development Program
The Integrated Rural Development Program is implemented through the following agencies:
- District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs)
- Block staff at the grassroot level
- State Level Coordination Committee (SLCC) at state level
- Ministry of Rural Areas and Employment (who are responsible for the release of funds, formation of policies, programme evaluation, monitoring and guidance)
Integrated Rural Development Program Funding
The Integrated Rural Development Program is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme funded on a 50:50 basis by the centre and the states. The scheme has been in operation in all the blocks of the country since the year 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.
Assistance is given in the form of subsidies by the government and term credit advanced by financial institutions, such as commercial banks, cooperatives and regional rural banks.