Planning Commission proposes Rs 1,000-cr additional funds

 The Planning Commission has prepared a draft Cabinet note seeking government approval to flush nine Maoist affected states with additional funds of Rs 1,000 crore annually for development and welfare activities.

Besides hunting down the left-wing extremists (LWE), the UPA government’s two pronged strategy also offers development schemes for the 82 affected districts, some of them are out of bounds for administrative reach. But, previous schemes were stuck owing to differences among various stakeholders.

The sources said that new additional central assistance for LWE affected areas scheme proposes to give districts a basis grant of Rs 5 crore, which put together will come up to Rs 410 crore (82 districts multiplied by Rs 5 cr).

The balance amount of Rs 590 crore will be distributed in the regions taking into account developmental requirements.

More financial assistance will go to the worst affected areas such as Sukma in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. The Cabinet is expected to take up the proposal next week.

However, the new scheme is not as lucrative as the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) through which each district used to get Rs 25 to Rs 30 crore annually. 

As per government estimates, Rs 4,177 crore was spent for various development projects in these states in the last three years, but some projects are incomplete.
The Centre has roped in the health ministry to prepare a list of malaria prone LWE districts. A fleet of mobile health units is being planned to reach inaccessible areas–a step that will also help them to win over tribals lured and threatened to take up arms against the state.

Another scheme up the government’s sleeve is raising large residential educational schools in the Maoist dominated areas to encourage youths to join the mainstream.

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