The “little known” success story of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has unfolded as a disaster. During 2007-08 and 2011-12, more than 22 million works were taken up under the programme, mostly related to water and soil conservation. These works were supposed to trigger agrarian revival, helping small and marginal farmers. But a recent audit report of the programme by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) finds the works redundant. Close to 70 per cent of these works were never completed. India has lost Rs 10,853 crore in these works. This loss is only for the 940 village panchayats CAG audited as sample; India has 240,000 panchayats. Key findings of the CAG report on the state of works undertaken:
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