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India plans $4 billion jobs program for urban poor

With eye to upcoming elections, program would expand employment guarantee to the cities

With economists calling for belt-tightening to arrest the widening deficit, the Indian government is considering a plan to expand the popular national rural employment guarantee scheme to include the urban poor, the Hindustan Times reports.

the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM), which will create job opportunities for the urban poor, during the 12th Plan. The housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry, which has proposed the scheme, has sought a Rs 20,000-crore budget to roll out the programme.

The ministry estimates about 93 million urban residents live in slums, but its plan is to provide skills training and placement to five million people, self-employment assistance to another one million and set up self-help groups that provide microfinance loans, among other services, for another one million.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/india-plans-4-billion-jobs-program-urban-poor