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Focus on better convergence of social schemes: Economic Survey

February 25, 2011 16:03 IST

The government needs to work on how to better converge various social schemes without duplication to effectively address the issues of unemployment and poverty, the Economic Survey said.

Focus must also be given to firming up policy structures for effective implementation of programmes as fund allocation increases, it added.

"Since a number of programmes are being run concurrently by the government to address the twin issues of unemployment and poverty alleviation, there is a need for better convergence of the schemes to avoid duplication and leakages," the Survey for 2010-11, which was tabled in Parliament, said.

While the government has increased budgetary allocation for anti-poverty and employment generation schemes, the survey said, "Policy structures need to be firmed up to facilitate effective implementation of the programmes and for better results in outputs."

In this regard, it noted that the government has promoted schemes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA) and National Skill Development Mission with an aim to generate more employment in the country.

However, the government now needs to formulate inclusive plans to bridge regional and economic disparities, as well as address the lack of basic health and education across the country, it said.

"The development process, therefore, needs to continuously strive for broad-based improvement in the standard of living and quality of life of the people through an inclusive strategy that focuses on both income and non-income dimensions," the survey added.

Referring to the Human Development Report (HDR) published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the survey said though India ranks lower in the human development index ranking (standing at 119 out of 169), it has performed much better than most emerging countries, except China.

As per the report, the country's life expectancy was 64.4 years in 2010, which is less than the global average of 69.3 years.

It also said the performance of India in terms of schooling is not much below that of countries like Sri Lanka, China, Egypt and Vietnam, but also lower than the global average.

"The existing gap in health and education indicators as compared to developed countries and also many of the developing countries indicates a need for much faster and wider spread of basic health and education," the survey said.

The Economic Survey also said that while inequality in India between 2000-2010 was more favourable than countries like South Africa, Brazil and Sri Lanka, there are relatively higher disparities in urban areas within India than rural areas.

Overall employment in the country increased by 12.96 lakh during the July-September quarter of 2010 compared to the same period of the previous year.

As per the eighth quarterly survey report on the impact of the economic slowdown on employment in India, during the July-September, 2010, period, the maximum increase in employment was witnessed in the IT/BPO sector - with 9.36 lakh additions - followed by 0.79 lakh in the textiles industry.

"An upward trend in employment has been continuously observed since July, 2009. During the quarter July to September, 2010, employment has increased in respect of all eight sectors and overall employment by 4.35 lakh," the survey said.


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