National Food for Work Programme. The National Food for Work Programme (External website that opens in a new window) was launched in 14th November, 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country, identified by the Planning Commission in consultation with the Ministry of Rural Development and the State governments.
Objectives of NFFWP:
The objective of the programme was to provide additional resources apart from the resources available under the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) to 150 most backward districts of the country so that generation of supplementary wage employment and providing food security through creation of need based economic, social and community assets in these districts are further intensified.
The scheme was 100 percent centrally sponsored. The programme has since been subsumed in NREGA which has come in force in 200 identified districts of the country including 150 NFFWP districts. The Act provides 100 days of work guarantee to every rural household whose members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
Some Guidelines for NFFWP:
The NFFWP is aimed at “all rural poor who are in need of wage employment and desire to do manual and unskilled work”.
The NFFWP Is centrally funded. Food grains are provided free of cost to the states. States are supposed to cover transportation costs, handling charges and taxes.
These include water conservation; drought proofing (including afforestation and tree plantation) and land development, flood control/protection (including drainage in water logged areas); rural connectivity in terms of all-weather roads. Other similar works can also be undertaken.
A five year “perspective plan” is to be prepared for each district, With Blocks and Panchayat wise details of works to be undertaken. I lie Ministry of Rural Development will approve the Perspective Plan (with or without modification) which has to be prepared in consultation with the PRls, local MPs and MLAs.
Each executing agency is to maintain an “employment register” which contains details of number of person employment (by caste and gender). This register is supposed to be open to public scrutiny and copies are to be made available by charging a “small fee if necessary”.
For each work there will be a monitoring committee comprising of 5-9 nominated members including at least one SC/ST candidate and a women’s representative. The selection of the committee members is to be done through the Grama Sabha. A work cannot start until the monitoring committee has been formed. The monitoring committee is also supposed to send its report along with the completion certificate.
Schedule of Inspection:
10% of panchayats to be inspected by district level officers and 2% of panchayats by state level officers.
Monthly, quarterly and annual reports have to be prepared and submitted to the state government by each district. The planning commission has identified the 150 most backward districts on the basis of agricultural productivity per worker, agricultural wage rate and SC/ST population. These districts have been identified in 27 states.
IMFFWP is an important instrument for ensuring employment generation so that each family is assured of a safe viable livelihood. In a country like India with complex socio-economic, political structure, implementation of such a huge ambitious project is not tin easy task. NFFWP has already started with much enthusiasm, particularly in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
In contrast to the trickledown theory of economic development, the approach of NFFWP Is based on the Keynesian model of employment where the state lakes pro-active steps generating employment opportunities by way of tackling demand deficiency. The NFFWP is a pro-poor re-distributive scheme which is a notable achievement in itself.
Most of the backward districts which would benefit from the scheme are tribal belts. The scheme provides 100 days of employment III minimum wages for at least one able-bodied person from each household in the country.