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Alter anti-poverty strategy: Survey

July 07, 2004 16:03 IST

Questioning the efficiency of various poverty alleviation programmes, the pre-budget Economic Survey asked the government to 'reformulate' anti-poverty strategy that is fiscally sustainable and more finely targeted.

Most of the programmes and policies aimed at poverty alleviation were 'ill-defined' with limited targets, multiple objectives and high administrative costs but with poor funds and lack of accountability and monitoring, it said.

Even the Public Distribution System was unable to do much good to the poor with only 25 per cent of food grains reaching the poorest 40 per cent of the population, while administrative costs accounted for 85 per cent of the total expenditure far outweighing the income gains to the poor.

Referring to studies on poverty alleviation, the Survey said though growth in per capita income was a necessary condition for poverty reduction, "it is by no means sufficient."

It favoured creation of an enabling environment for the poor to participate in, and benefit from, the growth process.

It, however, said the Integrated Child Development Services and Food for Work programmes were "better-targeted programmes and more successful at targeting the poor and improving their living standards at a relatively low cost."

"There is a wide scope for strengthening the public-private partnership in the delivery of health care services," the Survey said pointing at the possibility of greater involvement of NGOs for the implementation of schemes in the social sector.

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