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Indian government to formally fund self-help groups

A local government in India has decided to provide financial assistance to fringe employment opportunities in the hopes of increasing overall employment.

“The government of Assam has launched an employment scheme to provide financial assistance and better employment opportunities to weavers, farmers, and unemployed youths in the Indian state. Under the ‘Chief Minister’s Special Employment Programme 2010-11,’ loans worth US $24.3m were distributed to 93 joint liability groups. The state government is considering providing financial assistance in the form of self-help groups (SHGs).”

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A New Way of Measuring Poverty in India

According to Strategic Foresight Group Asian Horizons (SFGAH), a report given to the Planning Commission of India in December 2009 "recommended a new method, where the present national urban poverty line is taken as the basis for estimating every other poverty line in the country. According to experts, the new poverty line would factor in not just food requirements, but also those of education and healthcare that are important basic needs. Therefore, using this method in 2004-05 the percentage of poor was estimated as 41.8% in rural areas and 25.7% in urban areas.

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Sources:

Strategic Foresight Group Asian Horizons March 2010, page 2
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/SFG_Mar2010#page=2
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