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.