Poverty still continues as a major problem of the economy. It still continues as a challenge. Hence special antipoverty employment programmes have been undertaken from time to time. These programmes are targeted programmes for poverty alleviation. These are regarded as a strategy of direct assault on poverty. These are related to (a) the resource and income generation for the rural and urban poor (b) the creation of supplementary employment opportunity for the rural poor (c) the special area development programmes and (d) the minimum needs programme. A brief description of those programmes is given below:
1) Rural works programme (RWP):
This programme was launched during the 4th plan period. The Government of India emphasized this programme involving the construction of civil work of a permanent nature in rural areas. It was expected that these programme would create employment opportunities in rural areas.
2) Small Farmers Development Agency (SFDA):
Under the recommendations of the Bhagawati committee (1973) Government under took this programme during the 5th plan. The purpose of the programme was to supply adequate credit to small farmers so that they could adopt the latest techniques of cultivation and diversify their activities.
3) Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labour Development Agency (MFAL):
This scheme was also undertaken during the 5th plan to help the marginal farmers and agricultural labourers with subsidized credit for undertaking dairy, poultry, fishery, piggery, horticulture etc.
4) Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP):
This scheme was also undertaken during the 5th plan. The objective of the scheme was to create gainful employment among the people of the drought prone areas.
5) Crash Scheme for Rural Employment (CSRE):
This scheme was also undertaken during the 5th plan. The primary objective of this scheme was to generate additional employment through a network of rural projects of various kinds which are labour intensive in nature. Each project was to produce work or asset of adjustable nature in consonance with the local development plans. A project in each block was to provide employment to 100 persons over a working season of ten months in a year.
6) Minimum Needs Programme (MNP):
This programme was also introduced during the 5th plan. This aimed at making provisions for elementary education, health nutrition, electrification, water supply etc. particularly in backward areas.
7) Food For Work (FFW) Programme:
This programme was introduced during the 5th plan. The government of India decided to use a buffer stock of food grains as payment for the whole or part of the labour rendered in the execution of specified projects. The objective of the programme was to generate additional gainful employment for both man and woman in rural areas and to create durable community assets and strengthen the social infrastructure in order to increase production and raise the standard of living of the rural people.
8) Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP):
The IRDP was initiated on October 2, 1980 in all the 5011 blocks of the country. Its objective was to promote self employment among the members of poor families by providing them with productive assets. It was assured that these income earning assets (e.g. bullock carts) would help them in crossing the poverty line.
9) The Operation Flood of Milk & Dairy Project:
This scheme was initiated during the 6th plan period. Its aim was to facilitate the poor milkman families in marketing their products particularly through the cooperative system. It was expected to benefit about 13 million milkman families.
10) Fish Farmers Development Agency (FFDA):
This scheme was undertaken to free the poor fisherman families from the clutches of middlemen. Credit support on easy terms was extended to them. The scheme came into operation during the 6th plan.
11) National Rural Employment Programme (NREP):
It was to provide wage employment to rural workers at the time of their seasonal unemployment or sporadic underemployment. It also aimed at enlarging absorptive capacity of labour in nonfarm activities through the creation of a social economic infrastructure. A non plan employment scheme viz. Food for work programme (FWP) which was in operation during 1977-80 was restructured as NREP during the 6th plan. NREP was expected to create 300-400 million man days of employment per year (One man day 8 hours of work).
12) Training of Rural Youth for Self-employment (TRYSEM):
The objective of the scheme initiated during the 6th plan was to train two lakh rural youths per year for self employment.
13) Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP):
This programme undertaken during the 6th plan, aimed at providing guarantee of employment to at least one member of the landless family for about 100 days in a year. In 1985 it generated about 260 million man days against a target of 360 million man days.
14) Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY):
The Scheme was launched during the 7th plan. Its primary objective was to create gainful employment among the unemployed and underemployed in rural areas. Its principal objective was to bring about overall improvement in the quality of life in rural areas. The NREP and RLEGP were merged in JRY.
15) Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS):
The scheme was introduced with effect from 2nd October, 1993 (8th plan). It aimed at providing assured employment of 100 days of skilled manual work to the rural poor. EAS generated about 4.95 million person days during 1994-96, and 2.74 million person days in 1994-95.
16) Self Employment to the Educated Unemployed Youth (SEEUY):
The scheme was introduced in 1983-84. Under this scheme the educated unemployed youth get loan facility at a subsidized interest rate from the Government for undertaking new ventures in industry and service sectors. During 1983-92, about 1.52 million beneficiaries had been sanctioned loans amounting to Rs. 3004 crore.
17) Self Employment Programme for Urban Poor (SEPUP):
The programme was introduced by the Government during 1986-87. Its objective was to encourage poor families living in metropolitan, urban and semi urban areas so that they can undertake self-employment ventures. They were supplied with bank credit at subsidized rates of interest.
18) Nehru Rozgar Yojana (NRY):
The programme was launched in October, 1989 for the benefit of the urban poor. It consisted of three sub schemes, viz. (1) Scheme of Urban Micro Enterprises(SUME), which aimed at providing support to the urban poor in upgrading their skills and setting up of micro enterprises. (2) Scheme of Housing and Shelter Upgradation (SHSU) for providing employment through housing and shelter upgradation in urban settlements with a population between one and twenty lakh (3) Scheme of urban wage Employment (SUWE) for providing wage employment through provision of basic amenities to the, poor in all urban settlements with a population of less than one lakh, The SEEUP has been merged with NRY from 1992-93.
19) Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY):
To give a fillip to urban employment generation this programme was launched by the Government in 1993-94.From 1991-95 onwards the SEEUY scheme was merged with PMRY. Its aim was to provide employment more than one million persons by setting up 7 lakh microenterprises in industry, service and business activities during the 8th plan period.
20) The Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY):
The scheme came into operation with effect from 1st December, 1997. It aimed at providing gainful employment to the urban unemployed or underemployed poor through encouraging the setting up of self employment ventures or provision of wage employment. This scheme gives a special impetus to empowering and uplifting the living conditions of poor women.
21) The Scheme of Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA):
This programme was introduced during the 8th plan. It aimed at improving the socioeconomic status of poor women in the rural areas through creation of opportunities for income generation activities on a self sustaining basis.
22) The Prime Minister’s Integrated Urban Poverty Eradication Programme (PMUPEP):
This programme was launched in 1995. This programme will be applicable to all urban agglomerations having a population between 50 thousand and one lakh. It provides for self employment through skill development. It envisages a holistic approach to urban poverty eradication by creating a suitable environment for significant improvement in the quality of life of the urban poor.
23) Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY):
It is the restructure of the JRY. The Government decided to implement the JRY only at the village level to create rural infrastructure. The scheme has been renamed as Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana. The JGSY started its operation from 1999. DRDA and Zilla Parishad will release funds for the JGSY. The emphasis will be on creation of durable assets at the village level. Like the JRY, 22.5% funds for individual beneficiary scheme of SC/ST under JGSY will continue. The village Panchayats will have the power to sanction works or schemes upto Rs.20,000/-.The maintenance expense of assets has been raised from 10% to 15%.