|7th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)||<< Back to Index|
MINIMUM NEEDS PROGRAMME
19.1 The Minimum needs Programme was introduced in the first year of the Fifth Five Year Plan. The objective of the Programme is to establish a network of basic services and facilities of social consumption in all the areas upto nationally-accepted norms, within a specified time-frame. The programme is designed to assist in raising living standards and in reducing the regional disparities in development. The programme is essentially an investment in human resources. The basic needs of the people identified for this programme are Elementary Education, Adult Education, Rural Health, Rural Roads, Rural Electrification, Rural Housing, Environmental Improvement of Urban Slums and Nutrition.
Review of the Sixth Plan
19.2 The programme continued with greater vigour and substantially large outlays were allocated during the SixthPlan. A sum of Rs. 5,807 crores was provided in the Sixth Plan for this programme, of which Rs. 4,924 crores was allocated to the State sector and Rs. 883 crores to the Central Sector. As against the above outlay, an estimated expenditure of Rs. 6547.05 crores has been incurred during the period 1980-85. Of this, Rs. 5265.33 crores has been in the State sector and Rs. 1281.72 crores in the Central sector. Component-wise outlays and expenditure during the Sixth Plan period are given in Table 19.1.
19.3 Elementary Education: In the field of elementary education, the basic objective is to achieve universal elementary education as early as possible. In the Sixth Plan, an enrolment target of 18 million additional children had been set up, against which the achievement is reported to be nearly 22 million. However, a realistic estimate of enrolment under the formal system of elementary eduction would be between 18 and 20 million.
TABLE 19.1 Minimum Needs Programme (Sixth Plan Outlay and Expenditure)
*Tentacive + Represents Central outlay/expenditure.
19.4 Of the children in the age-group 611 years who were not in school, 73 per cent happened to be girls. Moreover, nearly 80 per cent of these children are to be found in the nine States of Assam, Andhra Paradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Thus, the bulk of non-starters and drop-outs continued to be girls. Moreover, the problem of non-achievement of universa-lisation is concentrated in the above-mentioned nine States only. Special efforts therefore need to be made to reach the backward and remote areas and more socially and economically disadvantaged groups, especially girls.
19.5 As far as non-formal education is concerned, against the Sixth Plan target of 8 million additional children, only 3.5 million children have been covered under this programme. Since this is an experimental programme, new methods will have to be devised to suit the requirements of specific areas and beneficiary target-groups.
19.6 Adult education: The Sixth Plan had set out a goal of 100 per cent literacy in the productive age-group 15-35 years by 1990 as a part of the Minimum Needs Programme. No definite physical targets had been laid down for this programme, yet, keeping the objective in view, as many as 386 rural functional literacy projects, 380 voluntary agencies, 49 universities and 13,000 centres of adult education were associated with this programme. It is estimated that 20 million persons might have been covered under the programme during the Sixth Plan period out of an estimated 100 million adult illiterates.
19.7 Rural health: With a view to providing health care facilities to all by 2000 A.D., the infrastructrue in the rural areas has been expanded and strengthened during the Sixth Plan so that health care would reach the vast segment of the population living in the villages. The establishment of health sub-centres, which constitute the nuclei at the grassroot level to provide preventive and promotive health care measures in addition to family welfare and maternity child health care facilities, has continued to be given high priority. Against the target of 40,000 sub-centres, the likely achievement during the Plan period is 35,509. The shorfalls have been in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
19.8 Against the Sixth Plan target of 1600 primary health centres (including subsidiary health centres), the achievement has been 3702, which is more than two-fold. This has been largely due to the State of Maharashtra augmenting its primary health Care facilities in a number of rural dispensaries during 1984-85. The States of Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal were not able to fulfil the targets set for them.
19.9 Under the community health centres scheme, the likely achievement as at the end of 1984-85 is reported to be 400 as against a target of 174. All the States continued to accord high priority to the setting up of community health centres.
19.10 Despite extensive infrastructure, the State have not been able to provide adequate number of doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff in the health care units set up under the programme. This has been mainly due to the fact that trained staff has not been available. Accordingly, financial assistance has been ensured to the States to train paramedical staff in the categories where shortages persist.
19.11 Under the village health guide scheme, 3.72 lakh health guides were trained and positioned in 4170 primary health centres (against a target of 4810 primary health centres) under the Programme-till the end of 1984-85. But the training of unipurpose health workers for converting them into multipurpose workers received a setback because the States were not able to resolve issues relating to unification of cadres and rationalisation of pay scales of multi-purpose workers.
19.12 Rural water supply: The Sixth Plan target was to cover all problem villages with at least one source of water supply. Out of the total 2.31 lakh villages identified as problem villages, all except 39,000 problem villages and 47,000 other villages are estimated to have been provided with water supply facilities by the end of the Sixth Plan. This means that a total of 299.78 million rural population has been covered by rural water supply schemes. This achievement was possible only due to larger investment than originally envisaged. As against the initial proposed outlay of Rs. 2007 crores, the actual expenditure has been Rs. 2485.33 croresRs. 1566.68 crores in the State Sector (MNP) and Rs. 918.65 crores in the Central Sector (ARP)1 including Rs. 116.11 crores under the Incentive Bonus Scheme.
19.13 Rural housing: A scheme for Rural House Sites-cum-Construction Assistance was in operation in the Sixth Plan as a part of the Minimum Needs Programme. The number of landless families provided house sites is estimated at 13.07 million as against 12.21 million reported to be requiring houses by the State Governments. The achievement has been more than the target due to coverage of beneficiaries belonging to higher income strata and the scheme having been extended to smaller municipalities also. State-wise analysis reveals that there are still 0.72 million landless families to be provided with house sites.
19.14 As regards construction assistance, 19 lakh families were assisted against the target of 36 lakhs. Thereason for lower performance under the programme is due to the fact that the Sixth Plan had envisaged a modest level of Government assistance under the scheme, whereas many of the State Governments exceeded the norms of assistance for each unit of housing.
19.15 Rural electrification: With the overall objective of covering at least 60 per cent of the villages in each of the States and Union Territories under the rural electrification programme by 1990, a target of 46,464 additional villages had been fixed for the Sixth Plan under the MNP. The actual achievement, however, has been placed at 34,489 villages.
19.16 Besides, MNP villages are also being electrified under non-MNP programmes of the States and Union Territories and of the Rural Electrification Corporation. While MNP target could not be achieved in full for a variety of reasons, the overall achievement of village electrification during the Plan was 1.28 lakh villages as against the target of one lakh.
19.17 Rural roads: The Sixth Plan envisaged linking of all villages with a population of 1500 and above and 50 per cent of the villages with a population of 1000-1500 within a time-frame of ten years ending 1990. As against a target of linking 20,000 villages with a population of more than one thousand, during 1980-85, the achievement has been only 18,000 villages. There is still a balance of 21,149 villages on an aggregate basis yet to be linked. However, there are wide variations among the States in this sector. The States of Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh are lagging far behind the national average.
19.18 Environmental improvement of urban slums: The long-term objective, as laid down in the Sixth Plan, had been to cover 100 per cent of the slum population by 1990 under the scheme of environmental improvement of urban slums. By March 1985, about 15.6 million slum-dwellers would have been benefited under the programme out of a total estimated slum population of 33.1 million.
19.19 Nutrition: Nutrition Programme under MNP includes (i) Special Nutrition Programme (SNP) and (ii) the Mid-day Meals Programme (MDM). The objective of the Special Nutrition Programme are to provide the beneficiary 300 calories and 8-12 grams of portein for the age-group 0-6 years, and 500 calories and 25 grams of portein for pregnant women and nursing mothers. During the Sixth Plan, nutrition support was provided to 11 million beneficiaries in the on-going 1136 Integrated Child Development Scheme Projects and SNP centres outside ICDS areas.
19.20 Under the programme of Mid-Day Meals (MDM) for school-going children in the age-group 6-11 years,about 20 million beneficiaries were getting nutrition support at the end of the Sixth Plan.
Strategy for the Seventh Plan
19.21 The major thrust of the Minimum Needs Programme in the Seventh Plan would be to integrate the programme with other rural development and antiproverty programmes so as to create necessary linkages in the delivery services. The MNP comprises two distinct sets of activities: human resources development activities which cover elementary and adult education, health, drinking water supply, nutrition and rural housing, and activities relating to area development like rural roads and village electrification. The various components of the MNP seek to enhance the impact of both beneficiary-oriented and area development programmes of rural development. While the MNP increases the productive capacity of the community as a whole by indirect impact the rural development programmes improve the economic condition of the individual with a direct and personalised approach. The two sets of programmes are mutually supportive and, therefore, need to be linked.
19.22 Besides the development of linkage between the MNP and rural development and anti-poverty programmes, it is proposed to add some components to the MNP during the Seventh Plan. These are domestic cooking energy, public distribution and rural sanitation. However, the programme guidelines for public distribution and rural sanitation are yet to be worked out. A total provision of Rs. 10081.72 crores has been made in the plan as against the provision of Rs. 4924 crores for the Sixth Plan for the Minimum Needs Programme in the State Sector. The Central Sector outlay for the Plan has been envisaged at Rs. 1464.22 crores.
19.23 Elementary education: The overall aim of univer-salisation of elementary education for children in the age group 6-Hyears would get an overriding priority. For achieving the goal of universalisation by the end of the plan, over 50 million childern would have to be additionally enrolled in the Plan period. This has to be achieved through a network of formal and non-formal systems so as to ensure basic minimum education to all children that will enable them to acquire functional literacy to help them in their socio-economic activities. The additional enrolment in the Seventh Plan in full-time educational institutions has been envisaged at 25.53 million children of which 11.46 million would be boys and 14.07 million girls.
19.24 Non-formal education would form an important plank for achieving universalisation of education and it would be expanded further and made acceptable with a variety of forms to suit the local needs. The Seven Plan proposes to cover 25 million children under this programme. However, depending upon the progress of the scheme and actual experience, additional funds might be provided for the programme. The programme of non-formal education would be appropriately linked with the formal system of education.
19.25 Adult education: Eradication of adult illiteracy and the development of a programme of continuing adult education is a major thrust area in the Seventh Plan. The task of covering all the illiterates in the age-group 15-35 years by 1990 is a formidable one. Considering the fact that the motivation of the learner is crucial for the sucecess of the programme, the strategy to achieve this can only be through a mass movement programme, involving political and social organisations, voluntary agencies, students, teachers and the public at large. The programme will also have to be linked with various other development programmes, specially Integrated Rural Development Programme. The active participation of institutions like village panchayats, mahila mandals, community centres etc. will be sought. The programmes of Nehru Yuvak Kendras and National Student Service (NSS) would also have special focus on eradication of illiteracy.
19.26 Rural health: Primary health care will be further expanded in the Seventh Plan, with emphasis on preventive and promotive aspects. Effective linking of health and health-related services like nutrition, safe drinking water supply, sanitation, housing, education and social welfare will be sought to attain the goal of health for all by 2000 AD.
19.27 During the Seventh Plan, the three-tier system of sub-centres, primary health centres and community health centres would be further strengthened. The existing rural dispensaries will be converted into primary health centres and sub-divisional hospitals,into community health centres and new functional units will be set up wherever necessary. Construction works would be taken up in areas where rented buildings are not easily available. Adoption of low-cost models of housing for health centres would be accorded priority in the remaining areas. Multipurpose workers (MPW) scheme would be extended in a meaningful manner, with emphasis on qualitative training for ensuring attitudinal changes and developing the required skill among them. Effective deployment of trained personnel and rationalisation of pay scales of multi purpose functionaries by the States would be an important aspect. Community participation in health programmes will be encouraged by activising village Health Committees, and involving block and district level panchayats in planning, organising and running of health services. The participation of voluntary organisations in delivery services of health care would be promoted by financial assistance.
19.28 The following targets have been fixed under the Minimum Needs programme for the Plan period.
As regards construction of buildings forthe subcentres, primary health centres and community health centres, the following targets have been set in the Seventh Plan:
A sum of Rs. 750 crores is also provided for village Health Guides Scheme and maintenance of Sub-centres which will further supplement efforts to promote health services in rural areas.
19.29 Rural water supply: In spite of massive efforts in the Sixth Plan, there are still a sizeable number of problem villages which have no source of potable drinking water. Identified problem villages based on the existing criteria will have to be covered before other villages are taken up. Once this task is completed and every village is provided with at least one source of water supply, facilities will be further expanded with a view to providing adequate water supply, and this will require liberalisation of present norms. Attempts will be made to cover all those villages which do not have assured sources of water supply within a distance of 0.5 k.m. The per capita norm for water supply in rural areas will also have to be enhanced from 40 litres per capita per day to 70 litres per capita per day. This will require provision of more hand pumps and the capacity of piped water supply schemes will also have to be increased. For benefiting the poorer classes of society like scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and landless agricultural labourers, additional sources/water collection points will be provided to enable them to have access to safe drinking water. The drought-prone areas will be paid due attention. For maintenance of water supply facilities in rural areas, 10 per cent of the total MNP funds are being earmarked.
19.30 A total outlay of Rs. 3454.47 crores has been envisaged for rural water supply programme in the Seventh Plan.
19.31 Rural electrification: During the Seventh Plan, Minimum Needs Programme aims at ensuring a coverge of 65 per cent of villages in all the States and Union Territories at the end of 1989-90 under Village Electrification. The States which require more intensive efforts are Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and North Eastern States. The priority areas for rural electrification under MNP have been identified as follows:
19.32 The total cost of the programme during the Seventh Plan has been estimated at Rs. 497.08 crores, to cover 40,285 villages.
19.33 Rural roads: During the Seventh Plan, about 24000 villages are to be connected with road links so as to achieve the national target under MNP. While connecting villages with population of more than 1000, it is envisaged that requirements of villages with less than 1000 population will also be taken into accout. At the time of planning roads' linkage, efforts will be made to connect as many small villages which lie enroute as possible.
19.34 During the Seventh Plan, the rural roads component of the MNP will pay particular attention to hilly, tribal and desert areas. Norms for these areas will be liberalised as follows:
(!) Hill areas
(ii) Tribal, coastal and desert areas
Norms for areas other than hill areas, tribal, coastal and desert areas are:
19.35 A sum of Rs. 1729.40 crores has been earmarked in the States Plans provision for the rural roads programme. Outlays under NREP1 and RLEGP2 would also be used as supplementary funds for construction of rural roads under MNP. The State Governments may also consider introducing special funding schemes such as Market Committee Fund Scheme of Punjab and Haryana and Krishi Upaj Mandi Scheme of Rajasthan.
19.36 Rural housing and landless labour: At the end of the Sixth Plan, 0.72 million landless families had been left uncovered. These families would be covered on a priority basis in the Seventh Plan, for which a sum of Rs. 36 crores would be utilised.
19.37 Along with allotment of house sites, the scheme also provides assistance for construction. During the Plan, efforts would be made to provide construction assistance to those families already provided house sites. A target of 2.71 million families has been fixed for provision of construction assistance at a total cost of Rs. 541 crores. The target can be achieved only if the State Governments adhere to the norms and standards envisaged in the plan.
19.38 The amount of assistance has been revised upwards. It is proposed to provide assistance to the extent of Rs. 500 per family for provision of developed house site of 100 sq. yards each, against the current norm of Rs. 250. Similarly, for construction assistance, it is proposed to increase the amount to Rs. 2000 per family against the norm of Rs. 500 at present.
19.39 Besides the provision of Rs. 577 crores made in the Plan for Rural Housing under MNP, an amount of Rs. 240 crores would also be available during the Seventh Plan from Institutions like Housing and Urban Development Corporation and General Insurance Corporation.
19.40 Environmental improvement of urban slums: The slum improvement programme will continue in the Seventh Plan with greater vigour and steps would be taken to provide security of tenure to the slumdwellers so that they may develop a stake in maintaining and improving their habitat. Of the total urban population, about 17.5 million have yet to be provided relief under the scheme of environmental improvement of urban slums.
19.41 Per capita assistance which was only Rs. 120 in 1972 was stepped up from time to time and the present rate of Rs. 250 per head was fixed in 1984. Since than many State Governments have considered this quantum inadequate, and it has been decided to step up the per capita expenditure to Rs. 300. The total outlay under Environmental Improvement of Urban Slums Scheme in the State Plans works out to Rs. 269.55 crores. On the basis of per capita expenditure of Rs. 300, this outlay would benefit about 9 million slum-dwellers during the Seventh Plan, leaving a balance of 8.5 million to be attended to in the subsequent Plan.
19.42 Nutrition: The two components of the Nutrition programme, viz., Special Nutrition Programme and Midday Meals would be continued during the Seventh Plan. The Special Nutrition Programme, besides continuing the nutrition support to 11 million eligible people, would be further expanded to cover all the additional Integrated Child Development Scheme projects during the Seventh Plan. Measures would be taken to bring Special Nutrition Programme centres either within the ambit of the Integrated Child Development Scheme programme or to upgrade them by linking with other inputs like health, sanitation, hygiene, water supply and education.
19.43 Attempts would be made to ensure uninterrupted supply of required nutrition material for specified days in all the anganwadis/SNP centres. The unit costs would be revised to ensure required nutrients to the beneficiaries.
19.44 Under the Mid-day Meals (MDM) programme for school-going childern, 20 million students were getting nutrition support at the end of the Sixth Plan. During the Seventh Plan, stress would be laid on the consolidation of the programme, by linking it with other inputs of health, potable water and improvement in environmental sanitation, rather than on numerical expansion.
19.45 The total outlay for the Seventh Plan has been fixed at Rs. 1731.73 crores as against the anticipated expenditure of Rs. 397 crores during the Sixth Plan.
19.46 Rural domestic cooking energy: Cooking energy forms nearly half of the total energy consumed in the country. The main sources of cooking energy in the rural areas are non-commercial, e.g., firewood, crop-waste and animal dung. The supply of these sources is rapidly dwindling and the Report of the Fuel Wood Committee (1982) has stated that fuel to cook food may soon become a greater constraint than the availability of food itself. Therefore, the two schemes of Rural Fuel Wood Plantation and provision of improved Chullahs which were in operation in the Sixth Plan, are proposed to be integrated and made an additional component of the Minimum Needs Programme during the Seventh Plan.
19.47 The programme of fuel wood plantation during the Seventh Plan would include distribution of about 100 crore seedlings to benefit at least 2 million rural families. It would be ensured that households covered by the scheme are provided adequate fuel-wood for meeting cooking needs. The programme would be extended from 157 districts in the Sixth Plan to all the fuel wood-deficient districts in the Seventh Plan. Under the improved chullah programme, at least 50 lakh chullahs would be installed against an estimate of 8 lakh chullahs in the Sixth Plan. Programme also envisages organisation of training courses in each district and improving the design and thermal efficiency of chullahs through applied research projects. Improved chullahs would be popularised among rural households through provision of appropriate subsidies and financial incentives.
19.48 An outlay of Rs. 165 crores has been provided for the Rural Fuel Wood Plantation Scheme in the Seventh Plan as against an outlay of Rs. 97.2 crores in the Sixth Plan. Rs. 25 crores have been provided for improved chullahs scheme in the Seventh Plan as against an outlay of about Rs. 6 crores in the Sixth Plan. These two schemes would be closely coordinated with the Rural Development Programme.
19.49 A suitable monitoring system would be deployed for ensuring that the two schemes are effectively coordinated and complement each other at the grass-root level.
19.50 Annexure 19.1 brings out the objectives and targets to be achieved by the end of the Seventh Plan under various programmes included under MNP. Annexure 19.2 shows the Seventh Plan outlays provided for MNP in different States.
ANNEXURE - 19.1 Minimum Needs Programme
ANNEXURE19.2 Outlays for the Seventh Plan (1985-90) on Minimum Needs Programme
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