implementing the rural employment guarantee scheme
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (nregs) aims to provide 100 days of guaranteed employment to every rural household at the minimum daily wage. But barely four months after its launch, it is running into problems
If some states have seen a huge response to it, there have been few takers in others like Haryana and Punjab, where the actual minimum wage is much higher than the state government's official minimum wage for agriculture (Rs 74 in Haryana, Rs 82 in Punjab) and that decided under nregs ( which is Rs 60 ). In Haryana, only 47,250 and in Punjab, 37,870 households were registered under the scheme till April 26. "Most of the farm workers in these two states are migrants from the eastern part of the country and are paid much higher than what is guaranteed under nregs (in their states)," says Devinder Sharma, a food and livelihood expert. "The number is smaller because Punjab has only one and Haryana only two districts under nregs," says an official of the Union ministry of rural development. But that does not seem like a complete explanation because in Andhra Pradesh, for instance, an average of 300,000 households per district are registered under the scheme.
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