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Planning Commission to expand reach of backward regions grant fund

"We are reviewing the prospects of extending our aid for backward region to sub-district level," a senior Planning Commission official told ET.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Aug 29, 2013, 04.00 AM IST
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"We are reviewing the prospects of extending our aid for backward region to sub-district level," a senior Planning Commission official told ET. (Pic by AP)
"We are reviewing the prospects of extending our aid for backward region to sub-district level," a senior Planning Commission official told ET. (Pic by AP)
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NEW DELHI: The Planning Commission plans to delve deeper into districts to identify mandals, talukas and blocks that deserve aid under the Backward Region Grant Fund, a move that is expected to benefit backward areas not only in the designated backward districts but also in other districts.

"We are reviewing the prospects of extending our aid for backward region to sub-district level," a senior Planning Commission official told ET. "The idea is to identify mandals, talukas or blocks where special development is required. These could be small blocks even in forward regions, and once identified, we will approach the government to enable them to avail benefits of BRGF." The move will benefit the most states such as Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal where, according to the commission, some sub-districts even in the forward districts are backward.

The commission will use the data available with the Registrar General of India to identify such areas, both in the classified backward and forward districts, the official quoted earlier said.

The Backward Regions Grant Fund was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in 2006. It aims to accelerate socio-economic development in the concerned states by bridging critical gaps in local infrastructure and addressing other developmental needs. The programmes under the fund are implemented by state governments.

In the present form, the fund has two components-district component covering 272 backward districts in 27 states and state component that includes special plan for Bihar; special plan for Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi districts of Odisha; special plan for West Bengal; integrated action plan for selected tribal and backward districts and a package for Bundelkhand region. Besides, the Union government also provides professional support to local bodies for planning, implementation and monitoring their plans. In the current fiscal, the Centre has earmarked 6,500 crore for the fund.

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