Calculate backwardness index taking blocks as unit: Joshi
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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 22:59
  
New Delhi: Government today asked states to consider blocks instead of districts as a unit for calculating backwardness index to help better devolution of Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) in the country.

In a meeting chaired by Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj C P Joshi, state representatives were asked to take blocks as a unit instead of districts so that BRGF can be better utilised in all 250 districts of the country.

"Keeping in mind the backward status of several districts of the country, Planning Commission had created BRGF which is distributed in 250 districts of the country. This fund, which amounts to around Rs 4,000 crore, has to be distributed through district planning commissions (DPCs) of states.

"However for better devolution of these funds, it has been recommended that blocks should be considered as a unit for backwardness index," Joshi told reporters after the meeting.

The minister said if the number of SCs and STs involved in NREGA work within a block can be calculated, then this could too be an indicator for backwardness index.

He added that once state governments identify the indicators within blocks, then these will be forwarded to the Planning Commission by the Panchayati Raj Ministry.

"Identifying greater number of indicators within blocks will help in better devolution of BRGF," Joshi said.

-PTI


First Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 22:59


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