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July 3, 2013

The Rural Development Drive of the State Government

The Rural Development Drive of the State Government
The present Government under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee has shown deepest concern to improve the infrastructural facilities of the rural Bengal which was hitherto neglected by the previous government. From May 2011, when the present Government came to power, constant processes of restructuring and newer schemes have been implanted and generated for the rural Bengal.

In 2012, the West Bengal Panchayat (Second Amendment) Act, 2012 was passed to enhance the extent of reservation of seats and offices in each tier of Panchayats for women from one-third to one-half (from “not less than one-third” to “not exceeding one-half”). Besides, reservation of seats and offices in each tier of Panchayat was introduced for Backward Classes along with reservation for SC and ST, subject to a ceiling of fifty percent taken together.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (MGNREGS) :

>> MGNREGS was introduced in February 2007 in 10 districts of the State and later extended to the entire state. Till 2010-11 financial year, total expenditure under the programme was Rs. 6947.34 crore. In the last two years (2011-12 and 2012-13), expenditure level reached Rs. 6835.97 crore.

>> During 2012-13, the State could spend Rs. 3909.27 crore which was 94% of the State's available balance. This was second in the country in terms of percentage of utilization against available fund. Actually, if we include the committed expenditure against work executed in last financial year and could not be paid due to paucity of fund, our expenditure was actually as high as Rs. 4480.53 crore which is 109% of the available fund.

>> In the last quarter of 2011-12, Rs. 1688.71 crore was utilized, 114.47 lakh families were provided job on an average of 33 days of employment per family was provided.

>> In 2012-13, because of consistently high level of performance, the state could secure further revision of Labour Budget from the Government of India thereby accepting tentative person-day generation at 18.33 crore.

>>At the end of March 2013, the districts reported person-days generation to the tune of 19.97 crore which is substantially higher than person-days generated in any previous year and 109 percent of the approved labour budget.

>> Based on the performance of the State in the current year, the State`s labour budget for 2013-14 has been enhanced to 22.61 crore person-days which in terms of funding translates to Rs. 6031.59 crore out of which Rs. 5662.57 crore is supposed to be central allocation.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) :

>> In PMGSY, between 2005-06 and 2011-12 financial years, 2018 roads covering 8375 KM with project cost of Rs. 4623.94 crore were sanctioned by the Ministry of Rural Development. Average sanction per year during the period comes to 288 roads, 1196 KM road length and Rs.660.56 crore project cost.

>> In 2012-13 alone 1425 roads covering 6144 KM with project cost of Rs. 3483.17 crore were sanctioned which is a remarkable achievement.

>> During 2012-13, proposal for another 1101 roads with 6177 KM road length and estimated cost of Rs. 3171.40 crore have been proposed to the Ministry of rural Development for approval.

>> In Integrated Action Plan (IAP) district alone, sanction for 582 roads with 2626 KM road length and an estimated cost of Rs. 1491.20 core has been received. Proposals for additional 478 roads entailing 1623 KM road length and estimated cost of Rs. 866.54 core have been submitted to the MoRD which is likely to be sanctioned in 2013-14.

>> In 2011-12, the State could build 1154 KM of metal road, connecting 243 habitations. Fund utilization was 85.67%, which is 18% more than the achievement recorded in the previous year.

>> During 2012-13, the State could build 1250 KM of metal roads connecting 203 habitations of 1000+ population category, 233 habitations with 500+ population and 102 habitations of 250+ population. During 2013-14, the State plans to construct 1134 roads entailing 5160 KM of road length.

Swarna Jayanti Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY)/ National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) :

>> The State Rural Livelihood Mission has been established and made functional to provide livelihood support to rural families.

>> Under SGSY, in 2011-12, 34761 Self Help Groups (SHGs) were formed, 40938 SHGs passed steps and have been taken to set up State Marketing Hub, District Marketing Hubs in all districts.

>> For setting up district hats land in most of the district have been identified and the process of preparation of the DPR is undergoing.

National Social Assistance Programme(NSAP) :

>> We could provide assistance to 10.68 lakh rural BPL old age pensioners, 7.39 lakh rural BPL widow pensioners and 0.38 lakh rural disabled pensioners under different pension schemes under NSAP.

>> The lower age for sanction of old age pension has been lowered from 65 to 60 years.

>> In urban areas number of old age pensioners, widow pensioners and disabled pensioners were 2.42 lakh, 2.11 lakh and 0.09 lakh respectively.

>> Since October 2012, financial support to the widow and disable pensioners has been raised to Rs.600.00 per month. State share of these pensions have been increased to Rs 300 per month from 200 per month.

>> Under NFBS, central assistance to the beneficiaries has been enhanced from Rs. 10,000.00 to Rs.20,000. For the first time state has added a share of Rs 20,000 per beneficiary which means the support has been increased from Rs 20000 to Rs 40000.

Indira  Awas Yojana :

>> Under Indira  Awas Yojana, in 2011-12, Rs. 925.76 crore could be utilized (in 2010-11 expenditure was Rs. 751.41 crore) and 1,95,770 houses could be constructed (in 2010-11 houses constructed was to the tune of 1,80, 520).

>> In 2012-13 192285 houses could be constructed with an approximate expenditure of Rs.1000.00 crore


Training of elected Panchayat representatives and the officials associated with the Panchayats received major thrust and the following table shows year-wise performance of the State in this sector:










(up to













Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC)/ Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) :

>> Under Total Sanitation Campaign, in 2011-12, 8,00,900 Individual Household Latrines could be constructed.

>> In 2012-13, total IHHL constructed till February 2013 was 506900; whereas 16267 school toilets and 10942 anganwadi toilets could be constructed.

>> Fully sanitized Gram Panchayats (Nirmal Grams) has increased from 1041 to 1077.

>> With convergence support from MGNREGS, the project cost for individual household latrine has been enhanced to Rs. 10000 for eligible job-card holders.

>> On completion of training on Solid & Liquid Waste Management (SLWM), pilot SLWM project has been finalized for one Gram Panchayat in each of the districts. All such 19 SLWM projects have been launched.

Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayats Project (ISGPP) :

>> The World Bank supported Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayats Project (ISGPP) started in 1000 selected GPs in nine districts with the objective to develop institutionally strengthened Gram Panchayats in West Bengal.

>> The project involves a cost of US$235 million, out of which IDA credit is US$200 million and counterpart financing available from State Government is US$35 million.

>> The Project became effective on 3rd September, 2010 and is scheduled to close on 31st December, 2015.

>> 483 GPs got two tranches of funds in 2010-11 FY and 2011-12 FY. 359 GPs got one tranche of fund in 2011-12 FY. In total 842 GPs got Block Grant in 2011-12. In 2012-13, a total of 794 GPs got Block Grant.

>> The total allocation of Block Grant has increased from Rs.44.09 Crore in 2010-11 to Rs.108.94Crore in 2011-12. In 2012-13, an amount of Rs. 147.71 Cr. has been allocated to 794 GPs. An allotment order of Rs.202.85 Cr. has been issued in favour of 792 GPs which became eligible in the APA conducted in 2012, for 2013-14 FY.

>> The average allocation per G.P. has increased from Rs.9.15 Lakh in 2010-11 to Rs.12.96 Lakh in 2011-12.

>> Project Coordination Units at the state and district levels are established to provide support to GPs & P&RDD and being functioning at desired pace.

>> A major part of the process of hiring of key positions on contract basis in the ISGPP Cell and District Coordination Units has been completed.

>> All the personnel engaged under ISGP Project have started working on full time basis.
These and many more such developmental projects are in the pipe line for the rural Bengal, most of which are the brainchild of the present West Bengal Government.