Social Security schemes like the MNREGA, Pensions are often criticized by economists as unproductive schemes. However, the World Bank in its recent report titled ‘The State of Social Safety Nets 2015’ hailed some of India’s social security schemes as biggest in the world.
Recently, the World Bank released a report “The State of Social Safety Nets 2015”, which mentioned that 1.9 billion in the world are beneficiaries of social safety net programs. However, 75% of the poorest people in low and lower-middle income countries still lack access to such programs and remain vulnerable. The report concluded that $329 billion was spent on these programs across 120 developing countries between 2010 and 2014, and most well-designed programs accounted only between 1.5 percent and 1.9 percent of their GDPs.
Given India’s huge population, its social safety programs featured among the top programs in their respective categories. Let us have a look.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), launched by the UPA government has been hailed as the world’s largest social safety net program. Last year, there were a lot of discussions and debates amidst fears that the BJP government would reduce its support to the program, which led to a group of economists signing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to continue support to the program.
The Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is a safe motherhood intervention launched in 2005, under the National Rural Health Mission (NHM). It aims to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality by promoting institutional delivery among poor pregnant women.
The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) is an old age pension scheme that covers Indians who are 60 years and above and live below the poverty line. Ministry of Rural Development launched it in August 1995 as a part of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP). Under the scheme, all beneficiaries aged 60-79 receive a monthly pension of Rs. 200. Those 80 years and above receive a monthly pension amount of Rs. 500.