Economy

MGNREGA scheme failed on many counts: report

In the last five years, the average person days of work generated per household under MGNREGS remained less than 50 across years

 
By Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Tuesday 19 March 2019
Photo: Moyna

In the last five years, the average person days of work generated per household under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) remained less than 50 across years, states a report published by Centre for Policy Research (CPR).

The report also highlights the fact that average person days of work being generated has been declining in the last five years. It says that the average person days of work generated in 2015-16 was just 49. In the following year it declined to 46, and continued to decline in 2017-18. In 2018-19, only 41 person days of work per rural household had been generated till December 31, 2018.

The report names better performing states, including northeastern states of Mizoram, which generated 76 person days of work; Meghalaya, which generated 68 person days of work; and Nagaland which generated 57 person days of work on average.

A few other states like Rajasthan, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh created more than 50 person days of work per household under the employment guarantee scheme.

Against this, worst-performing states include Odisha which generated 40 average person days of work; Uttar Pradesh which generated 37 average person days of work; Bihar which generated 36 average person days of work; Punjab which generated 34 average person days of work; and Haryana which generated 33 average person days of work.

“The decline began from 2013-14 and is continuing. It’s because there is no money in the programme. At the same time, material costs and daily wage is also increasing. This is the reason for the decline in person days of work generated per household under MGNREGS,” said Nikhil Dey of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, a non-profit.

The scheme, launched in 2006, was ideated to enhance rural livelihood by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed employment in a financial year to every rural household. MGNREGS is the largest scheme run by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD). 

Apart from this, few other worrying trends emerged from the report — like the work completion rate has decreased over the years from 98 per cent in 2015-16 to 82 per cent in 2016-17.

This further declined to 51 per cent in 2017-18. By the third quarter of 2018-19, only 18 per cent of the work had been completed, states the report.

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