Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)
Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) is a term used to refer to those citizens or households with income below a certain threshold level. Though there may be other economic factors in deciding on the economic weakness of the citizen/household, income is the dominant criterion. This categorisation as EWS is distinct from other categories like “disadvantaged sections” but include those categorised as BPL. There is no unique definition for EWS in India. It is defined differently for different schemes run by the Government. Further, state and central governments may set different criteria for deciding on the EWS status. Governments periodically review and re-fix income ceiling levels for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) to keep it relevant and contemporary. Generally EWS status is confirmed based on the Income certificate issued by a Revenue Officer not below the rank of Tehsildar (Taluk office in-charge), BPL Ration card or Antodya Anna Yojna Ration Card or Food Security Card issued by the state governments. In some places a legal affidavit is taken for the issue of EWS certificate. The criterion of EWS is evoked while granting benefits under education or housing. The scheme GITANJALI encompass the EWS people who have no pucca house of their own or in the name of any member of the family. The guidelines of the beneficiaries are:
- Poor people in rural and urban areas.
- Poor people in erosion/flood/other calamity affected/disaster prone areas.
- Poor people affected by government projects.
- People having family income less than or equal to Rs 6000 per month.