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Govt sets Rs 10000 min balance in bank accounts as rural poverty measure

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Central Government has set Rs 10000 minimum balance in bank account as one of the 21 parameters to assess poverty in gram panchayats under ‘Mission Antyodaya’.

About Mission Antyodaya:

Union Rural Development Ministry’s ‘Mission Antyodaya’ aims to create 50000 poverty-free gram panchayats.

  • The goal is to converge, all existing government initiatives and schemes in these 50000 gram panchayats so that every household within these panchayats is benefited which shall consequentially lead to elimination of poverty.
  • 50000 gram panchayats will be grouped together in 5000 clusters. State wise list of gram panchayats selected for this mission has already been finalised.

Overview of Parameters to assess poverty in a gram panchayats:

21 parameters which have been finalised to measure the poverty status of gram panchayats under ‘Mission Antyodaya’ are placed under three broad categories viz. “economic development and diversification of livelihoods”, “social development and protection” and “infrastructure”.

  • One of the parameters to determine ‘economic development’ is number of households with a minimum Rs 10,000 in their savings account. Panchayats with higher number of households having minimum Rs 10000 in their savings account will be rated positively on the poverty index.
  • Earlier, the threshold for minimum balance in savings account was set at Rs. 20000. However after months of brainstorming, Rural Development Ministry has now fixed it at Rs. 10000.
  • Other parameters to measure “economic development and diversification of livelihoods” include number of families with bank loans for diversified livelihood, number of families employed in dairy and animal resources and those in non-farm employment with skills, markets and bank linkage.
  • Parameters to measure “social development and protection” include prevalence of malnutrition among children up to three years, number of girls completing secondary education and percentage of children with full immunisation.
  • “Infrastructure” development will be measured by considering all weather roads, open defecation free status, internet connectivity, community waste disposal system and number of families living in safe houses.