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Is India's social welfare measures an answer to its poverty?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/2/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 777 times Debate No: 59858
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)




Eight year old Karup stood by the pavement.. waiting for someone to help. Lots of people went by but no one noticed him.. He again had to go through a night more teribble than the previous..

This is not just the case of Karup in the slums of India.. But to crores of another poor people.. People say 'The Government is taking care of them.' But then why people like Karup.. India got its Independence in 1947.. But still it has one label.. "Developing Country..". Why India like this..? Where has India gone wrong..?


India throughout the last 66 years had given many subsidies and other free gifts to its people.. From where does the money for giving subsidies come..? Either from taxes or the country has to take debts.. Increasing the taxes is a burden to the people and taking the debts are a burden for the government. When the taxes are increased the state of living becomes more hard.. Increasing the taxes of multinational companies, private firms, wealthy individuals and other people above the poverty line trouble them and they will ultimately leave the country. India currently has a great fiscal deficit. Taking the debts will increase this and the economic structure may collapse.

Instead of planning and implementing a lot of social welfare measures day by day, India can ask the multinational companies to come and commence industries and other business in the rural backward regions of the country with the support of the country. These countries should be exempted from paying taxes and should be given free land and other benefits. This can give employment to the people in the rural sectors. Even if one person from one family gets a job, it can increase the per capita income of the area. We know unemployment leads to poverty and giving employment to people helps to reduce it.. Moreover, India can ask the multinational companies (when they have achieved a considerable growth) to pay the taxes and also give a share of its profit to the nation's treasury and thus the country can compensate with the earlier given funds.

Corruption and Fund mismanagement is also a great problem. Most of the allocated funds and the social welfare measures by the state are not reaching the poor who are the real benefactors.. Corruption by the officials lead to a large drain from the treasury.

Giving a lot of subsides and other free items can also make the people lazy."The state is giving things to me free of cost.. Then, why do I work..?"

So the aim of the country should not be 'Social Welfare Measures' but 'Reduction in Unemployment' without causing economic crisis. Reduction in unemployment, utilizing resources effectively, awareness among the people, and transparency in the system along with a positive hope is all what India needs to get rid of poverty.. Otherwise..


India is a developing country with high poverty rates. India has many problems. Government intervention is necessary
Debate Round No. 1


Over the last decade, poverty has witnessed a consistent decline with the levels dropping from 37.2% in 2004-05 to 29.8% in 2009-10. The number of poor is now estimated at 269.3 million, of which 216.5 million reside in rural India.

One should notice that this is the outcome of the trickle-down impact of the record growth witnessed in the first decade of the new millennium. This growth, though, has not been accompanied by a commensurate rise in employment, implying that its benefits have not really trickled down. Still, the growth did result in higher tax revenue, enabling the government to fund a large social sector spending programme.

So again the nation has to increase the taxes.. Is that good..? No serious efforts are made to reduce unemployment which is the major cause of poverty.

Increase in taxes can lead to brain-drain. A whole lot of technologically and scientifically skilled youth is leaving India due to increased tax rates. This is a huge blow to the government and the nation. What the nation needs is development and development largely depends on reduction of poverty.

You said - "India is a developing country with high poverty rates..".

Over the 66 years, over 100 social welfare measures were made and implemented by different central and state governments.. Then, why is India, still a developing country.. And in 20th century,in spite of several social welfare measures, India's poverty rates were very high. But during the last decade, the nation concentrated on public investments and reduction in unemployment(in small extents). See the difference, the poverty rates began to decrease..

So I again repeat that Social Welfare measures is a burden for the government and the government together with the corporate sector should strive for decline in poverty rates..


India being a developing country needs government intervention for any improvement in the standard of living of the poor. Unless there is govrnment intervention we cannot expect the economy to restabalize. Employment opportunities created by the government is very important which gives employment to many people. Such policies are the saving grace to many families. When these people are able to earn they can send their children to schools . And because government gives free education for children below the age of 15 the parents are able to save more money. This results in increased savings of the people. This also leads to a rise in the standard of living of the people . Thus the per capita income increases and there is growth in the country. Government only needs to employ this a single generation of people because if the standard of living of one genration is increased then their savings will increase and their children will be able to educate them. Tgus they will be able find employment.

Government policies help in increased number of employedpeople . Some of the policies are :-

1) Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY) is the restructured, streamlined and comprehensive version of the erstwhile Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY).It was started on 1 April 1999. The main aim of this programme was development of rural areas. Infrastructure like roads to connect the village to different area, which made the village more accessible and also other social, educational (schools) and infrastructure like hospitals. Its secondary objective was to give out sustained wage employment. This was only given to BPL (below the poverty line) families and fund was to be spent for individual beneficiary schemes for SCs and ST's and 3% for the establishment of barrier free infrastructure for the disabled people. The village panchayats were one of the main governing body of this programme. There, it did not feel like an outsider was controlling it, the village panchayats were a part of the people and understood their needs. Rs. 1841.80 crore was used and they had a target of 8.57 lakh works. 5.07 lakh works were completed during 1999"2000.

2) National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS)
As the name suggests this scheme provided pension to old people who were above the age of 65['Now 60' ]who could not fend for themselves and did not have any means of subsistence. The pension that was given was Rs 200 a month. This pension is given by the central government. The job of implementation of this scheme in states and union territories is given to panchayats and municipalities. The states contribution may vary depending on the state. The amount of old age pension is Rs. 200 per month for applicants aged 60"79. For applicants aged above 80 years, the amount has been revised in Rs. 500 a month according to the (2011"2012) Budget.

3) National family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)[edit]
This scheme was started in August 1995 by the Government of India. This scheme is sponsored by the state government. It was transferred to the state sector scheme after 2002-03. It is under the community and rural department. This scheme provides a sum of 10000Rs to a person of a family who becomes the head of the family after the death of its primary breadwinner. The breadwinner is defined as a person who is above 18 who earns the most for the family and on whose earnings the family survives. It is for families below the poverty line.

4) Integrated Rural Development programme
This calls for integration of various agencies - District Rural Development Agencies, banks, line departments, Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other semi-government organisations.

Funds under the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) are shared by the Centre and the States in the ratio of 75:25. The Central allocation is distributed in relation to the incidence of poverty in the States. However, additional parameters like absorption capacity and special requirements can also be considered.

The year 1999"2000 was the first year of the implementation of SGSY. As such, considerable detailed preparatory work and planning were carried out in order to ensure the successful implementation of the scheme. In order to finalise the guidelines of the programme, views were sought/consultations were held with State Governments, banks and programme was started in 1978 and it later merged with SGSY in 1999.

5) Rural Housing-Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY)(initiated in 1985)
This scheme aimed at creating housing for everyone. It aimed at creating 20 lakh housing units out of which 13 lakhs were in rural area. This scheme also would give out loans to people at subsidized rates to make houses. It was started in 1999"2000. In 1999"2000 1438.39 crore Rs was used for this scheme and about 7.98 lakh units were built. In 2000-01 an central outlay of 1710.00 crores Rs was provided for this scheme.

6) National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA)
The NREGA bill notified in 2005 and came into force in 2006 and further modified it as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in 2008. This scheme guarantees 100 days of paid work to people in the rural areas. The scheme has proved to be a major boost in Indian rural population's income.

To augment wage employment opportunities by providing employment on demand and thereby extend a security net to the people and simultaneously create durable assets to alleviate some aspects of poverty and address the issue of development in the rural areas.

The Ministry of Rural Development (MORD) is the nodal Ministry for the implementation of NREGA. It is responsible for ensuring timely and adequate resource support to the States and to the Central Council. It has to undertake regular review, monitoring and evaluation of processes and outcomes. It is responsible for maintaining and operating the MIS to capture and track data on critical aspects of implementation, and assess the utilization of resources through a set of performance indicators. MORD will support innovations that help in improving processes towards the achievement of the objectives of the Act. It will support the use of Information Technology (IT) to increase the efficiency and transparency of the processes as well as improve interface with the public. It will also ensure that the implementation of NREGA at all levels is sought to be made transparent and accountable to the public. now 100 t0 150 days work for all labour.

Such polices not only help in the rise in standard of living of people , eventually create economic development of the country . Thus we are one step closer to becoming a developed nation and poverty can be eradicated from India.
Debate Round No. 2


By the World Bank’s broad definition of poverty ($2.00 or less a day per person), there are more poor people in the world today than a quarter century ago. Nearly half the world’s population, over three billion people, lives in poverty. In India alone, two-thirds of its one billion-plus population is poor. Yet, the strategy for alleviating poverty across practically every developing nation has remained essentially the same for the past several decades.

The last 15 years have seen a gradual but sharp decline in the health of the public finance at all levels, ie. the Union government, the states and the local bodies both urban and rural. Fiscal deficit has been running high as a percentage of Gross Domestic product. The State is crippled by repayment liability and interest payment liability. So, currently, India is in such a state that it cannot implement social welfare measure without a liability.

Local bodies particularly Pachayat Raj systems are generally are generally incapable of raising adequate resources. On top of it, public funds are generally squandered. The indebtedness of central government is in addition. The mindless overspending for social welfare measures is nothing short of cheating our future generations of their legitimate resources and opportunities, because it will be their liability to repay tomorrow what we are borrowing today.

International Development Assistance Hasn’t Worked

The UN Millennium project argues that it is the poverty trap of poor health, poor education and poor infrastructure reinforcing each other rather than bad planning, corruption, and ineffective execution that is hindering development of poor countries. The idea is that underdeveloped nations can be saved through more outside assistance and by expanding existing programs that are run mostly by governments. Those who support this notion want the World Bank and other international agencies and donors to make increased contributions to supplement domestic government resources. But there is very little evidence that foreign assistance has made much difference in overcoming the poverty trap in any country.

As a consequence of the financial assistance received from international agencies, national governments rely on strategies developed by planners at organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations. There is no shortage of ideas, enthusiasm, and expectations at the planning level, but what is lacking is good execution.

Planners have no responsibility for ensuring that funded projects meet their goals in the field. Other than requiring periodic written reports and demonstration of individual cases where success has been prearranged, there is little feedback or accountability. Beneficiaries are not in a position to let their views be known, nor do they understand what is expected in the longer run.

Misuse of Funds

The beneficiaries of the social welfare measures are usually corrupt officials who manage and distribute funds, and landlords and power brokers who directly or indirectly extract benefits for themselves. In India, over 90% of the agricultural land is owned and partly cultivated by less than 10% of the rural population who are termed farmers; others are mostly laborers. Governments allocate land to the poor, but they are unable to utilize it because of limited water resources, bad soil conditions, and/or the inability to secure credit. Larger subsidies benefit bigger farmers, but the poor do not gain much directly from any government programs.

The presumption that with more money, corrupt and inefficient governments and bureaucratic institutions will utilize funds efficiently and improve the deplorable conditions of the poor is an illusion. There are too many impediments to poverty reduction: bribery, political influence in the allocation of land and/or credit, diffused focus and priorities, poor execution, a shortage of rural infrastructure, and social inequality, among other factors. Supporters of the “more money” approach should be reminded of what the late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi once admitted: Less than 15 cents of each dollar in assistance intended for the poor finally gets to them. That is not to say that assistance should not be increased. But the real focus should be on ensuring that the allocated resources reach the poor.

If citizens cannot rely on an impartial judicial system, there is little hope for a just and fair society. Societies that do not protect property and person from predators cannot expect to create sufficient wealth for everyone. It is the erosion of press independence and the weakness of legal system that are most troubling.

Importance of Private Sector Participation

Government-run institutions have, for the most part, failed to offer quality services because they are unable to motivate those who carry out the tasks in the field. Those who can afford to pay for quality services rely on private providers. Even those who work for government go to private clinics for their health care needs, and send their children to private schools. Quality will never improve unless service providers have the incentive to serve the poor. Until then, the “haves” have markets to choose from, while the “have-nots” have bureaucrats to dictate to them.

In India there is no serious effort to involve private companies, though most rural areas are, in fact, ideally suited for industries in herbal products, alternate fuels, cement and tile, lumber and pulp, meat, dairy and poultry. These private industries should function in a free market with sufficient checks and balances to ensure that they operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. By offering job opportunities in villages, they would alleviate migration to cities for employment.

Financial incentives like low-interest loans and tax breaks, and physical infrastructure improvements will motivate private companies to build factories in rural areas. Elimination of controls on the sale of agricultural products, and assistance in finding new markets will attract many businesses. These measures will in turn improve the demand for produce and boost commodity prices to levels that can financially sustain rural families. Further, international agencies and donors must consider equity participation in companies instead of simply channeling funds through governments or offering grants. They should provide loans at low interest rates directly to local entrepreneurs who can demonstrate an ability to run successful businesses. In short, some of the available developmental funds must be used to support commercial activities in deprived communities. With more economic activity, the poor labor class can gain employment at better wages.

Government’s role ought to be that of a catalyst. There should be no room for bribes. The focus should be to provide incentives for private (and community) participation. When private individuals and institutions find it worthwhile to take risks and invest in economically depressed areas, there will be sustainable development and poverty reduction. As incomes rise, there will be less need for government involvement in the delivery of many services currently provided.

Sincere participation of poor has not yet achieved

It is essential to involve the poor, the main target , to ensure their welfare. Imparting of skills under the scheme must be done effectively which an be hand picked easily. The poverty alleviation schemes needs to be implemented at the level of the community. The involvement of the whole community, including the poor is essential to make the measures successful. the more the interference of government, the less will be the participation of the people. Administrative support is important but sans red-tapism and bureaucracy. Most of the
the governments welfare measures like IRDP has failed just because it lacked the effective involvement of the poor. It failed to understand the situations.

The Limited Role of NGOs

Despite positive contributions, NGOs have not been involved in major developmental undertakings intended to create large employment and wide income generation through sustainable businesses. This is attributable to their lacking good managerial skills and organizational structure to take up business ventures. Further, donor funds are usually restricted to narrowly defined projects. Consequently, the role that NGOs are best suited to play is in support of projects funded by governments and international agencies, or those limited initiatives approved by private donors.

Unfortunately, those NGOs that actually carry out developmental work in the field are stuck within programs specified by planners in developmental agencies and donor institutions. New ideas that deviate from those already specified by planners seldom qualify for any funding. Thus, project proposals are prepared to reflect the requirements set by these planners in terms of methodology and outcomes. There is little initiative from the ground up, and no real feedback. Demonstrating compliance on paper ends up more important than actually getting the job done effectively. As a result, recipients of developmental funds spend significant time preparing reports for the planners to qualify for continued funding, and less time worrying about what benefits the poor.

Handouts will not solve poverty; neither will it be solved by grand government projects, or by piecemeal interventions of NGOs. Instead, poverty will be solved with vibrant economic activity driven mostly by the private sector. The hundreds of millions of new jobs that are needed each year will come mainly from corporate business ventures in rural areas. The developmental strategy to address poverty must embrace this reality.

So, a market-based approach to poverty reduction will result in income and wealth creation, and lay the groundwork for the next generation to avail of a wider range of opportunities with enhanced resources.



Arjunpillai forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Joel.98 2 years ago
Please...... VOTE FOR CON(Against) - Joel.98
Posted by Joel.98 2 years ago
It is sad that Arjunpillai has forfeited the Round 3. Expected some heated arguments...
Posted by Joel.98 2 years ago
Only the first and the last paragraphs is your own..

Every other word is from
Posted by Joel.98 2 years ago
Arjun, u copied the entire arguments for round 2 from wikipedia...?
Boring... like u.

Posted by Arjunpillai 2 years ago
Ok joel
Posted by Theunkown 2 years ago
Main problem is overpopulation. That gets solved and 90% of india's problems are solved
Posted by Joel.98 2 years ago
Feeling sleepy..
Will continue tomorrow..
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