UPA's development report card

A look at the progress of the Congress-led alliance's flagship programmes

By Richard Mahapatra
Published: Friday 24 May 2013

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi releasing the Report to the People, detailing the achievements of the government, at a function in New Delhi on May 22 (Credit: PIB)

The ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has completed nine years in power, and the countdown for the next general elections in 2014 has begun. Though in the past four years the government has been rocked by corruption scandals and leadership paralysis, UPA has been hyping its development agenda for rural areas and hopes to come back to power on its strength. Since 2004, the government has been creating legally enforceable entitlements for basic necessities: right to information, rural employment guarantee programme and the Forest Rights Act are in force, while the Right to Food Bill and the new Land Acquisition and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill are pending Parliament approval. Down To Earth has been tracking all the UPA flagship programmes with wide field reportage and incisive analysis. A quick look at the progress of these programmes to help you arrive at your own verdict on UPA's development agenda:

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)

481 million households employed till now, but job demand is coming down

9.5 million works taken up

But only 1.3 million works completed

Verdict: Had huge potential for rural rejuvenation but lack of village-level planning killed it

DTE analysis: 2013

DTE analysis: 2012

DTE analysis: 2011

DTE analysis: 2010

DTE analysis: 2006


Forest Rights Act

32,42,766 claims have been filed

12,98,582 titles have been distributed

0.6 million community rights recognised

But just a few thousand give people the right over minor forest produce like bamboo and tendu

Verdict: The law means a lot for the tribal population, but government wants to dilute it

DTE analysis: 2013

DTE analysis: 2010

Right to Food Bill

Will benefit 70% rural households through subsidised foodgrains

Entitlements under proposed law still not clear

Pending in Parliament, but states have started enacting their own food security laws

Verdict: Political uncertainty may hinder its passage

DTE analysis: 2013


Land Acquisition and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill

Will replace a colonial law and arms government with powers to acquire private land

But the Bill is being opposed vehemently

Pending in Parliament

There is no consensus on the Bill even though main Opposition party supports it

Verdict: A compromised bill may not protect people from unfair compensation and rehabilitation

DTE analysis: 2013

DTE analysis: 2012

DTE analysis: 2011

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