The Union Cabinet on 6 May 2013 had cleared important changes to the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (Aajeevika) in a major boost to the roll out of the women’s self help group model across the country,
The changes is supposed to provide additional resources and additional elasticity to implement the NRLM (Aajeevika) in a more effective and accelerated manner across the country thereby creating new livelihoods and empowering women across rural India.
Highlights of the changes approved are
Improved targeting, by doing away with BPL criteria and instead identifying target groups through the Participatory Identification of Poor (PIP) process.
• The Participatory Identification of Poor process has been expansively demonstrated to be very effective in states where women’s self-help-groups have been succeeded. The list finalized through the P.I.P process will be inspected by the Gram Sabha and approved by the Gram Panchayat.
• The P.I.P process will also have a set of exclusion criteria, automatic inclusion criteria and a set of deprivation indicators for enabling poverty ranking in a participatory manner. This delinks N.R.L.M target group from the BPL list.
Interest subvention and additional interest subvention in 150 districts
• Union Cabinet has approved the provision of interest subvention to Women SHGs, enabling them to avail loans up to 3 lakh Rupees at an interest rate of 7 per cent per annum.
• Women SHGs that repay loans in time will get additional 3 per cent subvention, reducing the effective rate to 4 per cent. The initiative, in the first phase, would focus on 150 districts, including the 82 IAP districts, affected by Left Wing Extremism.
Change in the pattern of financial assistance - replacing Capital subsidy with a Community Investment Support fund
• The Cabinet has approved to withdraw capital subsidy to S.H.Gs and instead provide financial support S.H.G federations and livelihoods organizations of the S.H.G members in the ‘intensive’ blocks through a grant called Community Investment Support fund.
Setting up of National Level Society under N.R.L.M for more effective implementation
• The Cabinet also approved the setting up an autonomous, adequately staffed, professionally managed and empowered agency at the national level to implement the N.R.L.M, called the National Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (N.R.L.P.S) under the Societies Registration Act.
• The NRLPS will act as the technical support unit of N.R.L.M. The setting up of such a Society is essential to implement the programme in a mission mode, as livelihoods programmes require a wide range of specialization and experience.
• The Society structure would enable access to high quality professional support, provide flexibility to create partnerships and facilitate innovations and would serve as a knowledge center for rural livelihoods for the state missions.
• Further it will provide an opportunity for formally involving State Governments in decision-making, by nominating them to the Executive Committee of the Society.