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Nitish Kumar's Bihar struggles, Yogi's UP excels in delivering rural welfare schemes

UP completed 90 per cent of its target of 1.28 million rural houses, constructed 1,522 km of rural roads.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jul 17, 2019, 08.55 AM IST
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath (File Pic)
NEW DELHI: Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar fared poorly in implementing central rural schemes in 2018-19 while the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, a bigger state but also with a significant rural population, did much better on this count.

UP is not in a good shape after a massive farm loan waiver and is staring at a fiscal deficit but the state performed impressively in social welfare schemes in the previous financial year, delivering almost the entire 200 million person days target of the flagship rural jobs scheme under the

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREA). The state completed 90 per cent of its target of 1.28 million rural houses, constructed 1,522 km of rural roads (80 per cent of the target) to ensure that there is no unconnected habitation in the state now, and completed 91 per cent of projects in Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) panchayats in the state.

In comparison, Bihar delivered only 108.4 million person days out of a target of 140 million, completed only a third of its target of rural roads, resulting in 2,095 habitations still being unconnected, built just around 388,000 rural houses out of a target of 1.17 million houses and completed skilling of only 33,636 people out of 148,500 persons it aimed to skill by March 2019. Besides, the state completed only 33 per cent of projects under SAGY during the year.

“Bihar needs to pull up its socks on social welfare schemes urgently. UP has greatly improved last year,” a senior government official told ET.

The Centre has recorded these findings in a state performance report for 2018-19, which has been seen by ET, and recommended an action plan for states to achieve new and enhanced targets in the current financial year.

With Bihar not being able to deliver its target of person days of work under MGNREGA, the number of completed projects under the scheme stood at only 65 per cent against a national average of 88 per cent. UP, on the other hand, was able to complete 99 per cent of its projects under MGNREGA.

Stiffer targets have now been set for Bihar to make up for its poor performance so far. For instance, under the rural skilling scheme, where Bihar trained only 33,636 people out of its target of 148,500 since 2016, and trained just 8,000 people last year, the Centre has now asked Bihar to train around 118,000 persons in this financial year under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana. Bihar has also been asked to complete on priority around 917,000 rural houses, for which the first instalment of central grant has already been released to the beneficiaries.

Both UP and Bihar are crucial for the government’s rural welfare pitch as they have the maximum rural population – nearly 88 per cent of the 120 million population in Bihar is rural while almost 65 per cent of UP’s 210 million population is rural.

While MGNREGA aims at 60 per cent of all works to be related to agriculture allied-works, the performance on this count stood at only 45 per cent in Bihar, with as many as 27 districts of the state falling short of the mark. UP managed to achieve 61 per cent, as per the report. Bihar fell short on the National Rural Mission as well, achieving only 49.85 per cent against the benchmark of 65 per cent.
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