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Sunday 7 June 2020

MGNREGA: Bengal leads country in rural employment generation

MGNREGA made a significant progress in 2017-18, contributing to livelihood security through durable assets with full transparency using IT/DBTand geo-tagging of each and every asset created under the programme, a Union government press release says

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Kolkata: West Bengal has emerged as the number one State in the country in terms of generation of jobs in the rural areas, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said without mentioning MGNREGA.

The State has generated 30.98 crore person days under the 100 days work scheme till 31 March, she tweeted.

“I am very happy to share with all of you that Bengal has emerged No.1 in the country in rural employment generation. Under 100 days work scheme, as on 31 March 2018, Bengal has generated 30.98 crore person-days, which is the highest in the country,” Banerjee tweeted this afternoon.

“Moreover, West Bengal reported (an) expenditure of Rs. 8007.56 Crore under this scheme in 2017-18, which is again the highest in the country,” she added.

“In terms of average person-days per household, West Bengal with 59 days in 2017-18, is the best performer among the major states,” her tweet read.

According to the statistics of the Union Minister of State for Rural Development Ram Kripal Yadav, which he furnished in Rajya Sabha, West Bengal generated more than 28.21 crore work days under the scheme so far in 2017-18 and spent more than Rs 7,335.31 crore for it. The minister was replying to a question from Trinamool Congress MP Manas Ranjan Bhunia.

Yadav also said that Tamil Nadu occupied the second spot with 22.17 crore work days and spent Rs 5,981.75 crore. Andhra Pradesh was third with 18.16 crore work days, and funds worth Rs 5054.17 crore.

MGNREGA across the country

The rural employment programme under MGNREGA made very significant progress in 2017-18, contributing to livelihood security through durable assets with full transparency using IT/DBTand geo-tagging of each and every asset created under the programme.  The Table below from NREGASoft MIS captures the salient features of the performance of the programme over the last five years:

Progress FY 2017-18* FY 2016-17 FY 2015-16 FY 2014-15 FY 2013-14
Persondays Generated so far [In Cr] 231.60

(100% of Labour Budget)

235.6458 235.1465 166.21 220.37
Average days of employment provided per Household 45.44 46 48.85 40.17 45.97
Total Households Worked [In Cr] 5.10 5.1224 4.8134 4.14 4.79
Differently abled persons worked 4,69,393 4,71,819 4,59,597 4,13,316 4,86,495
Number of completed works [In lakhs] 54.22 65.46 36.18 29.44 27.42
% of Expenditure on Agriculture & Agriculture Allied Works 68.46 66 62.85 52.81 48.7
Total Exp [In  Cr] 63,887.35 58,062.92 44,002.59 36,025.04 38,552.62
% Total Exp through eFMS 96.31 92.33 91.19 77.35 37.17
% payments generated within 15 days 85.75 43.43 36.92 26.85 50.09

Figures of FY 2017-18 are provisional as data uploading for March’18 will continue up to 20 April

The table brings out progress made in generating payment within 15 days from a low of 26.85% in 2014-15 to 85.75% in 2017-18. The total expenditure of Rs 63,887 crore in 2017-18, is nearly Rs 25,000 crore more than what was spent in 2013-14.  Likewise, for livelihood security and durable assets, thrust on expenditure on agriculture and allied works can be seen with the percentage rising from 48.7% in 2013-14 to 68.46% this year.

The criticism of the MGNREGA was that works remain incomplete for a long time leading to poor quality assets and unsatisfactory livelihood security.  The thrust on completion of works over the last two financial years led to the completion of nearly 1.20 crore assets in 2016-17 and 2017-18 which is nearly equal to what was being completed in four years. Geo-tagging of MGNREGA assets which started on 1 September 2016 is going on with around 80,000 assets being geo-tagged on daily basis. More than 2.84 crore assets out of a total of 3.34 completed assets since the inception of the programmes have been geo-tagged and put in public domain.

The Institute of Economic Growth Study (2017) on Natural Resource Management, found beneficiaries saying that 76% assets created were good/very good and only 0.5% was unsatisfactory. The thrust on completion shall continue.  Governance reforms have been the hallmark of MGNREGA over the last three years with the use of IT/DBT, and geo-tagging effectively. The verification of Job Cards and efforts to provide a Job Card to every deprived household as per the Socio-Economic Census-2011 has yielded very positive results.  As the table above indicates 96.31% of expenditure is now through Electronic Fund Management System as against 37.13% in 2013-14.

Individual beneficiary schemes have been the focus with around 60% of total works taken up in FY 2017-18 belonging to this category. Moreover, there has been an emphasis on Natural Resource Management works. Nearly 40 to 50 lakh hectares of land covered through Natural Resources Management for water conservation each year, rejuvenation of rivers, construction of nearly 5 lakh farm ponds every year over the last two years, thrust on roadside plantation and social forestry, provision of goat-shed, poultry-shed and dairy shed as individual beneficiary schemes have led to the creation of livelihood security through durable assets leading to improved incomes. MGNREGA provides 90/95 days work (approx Rs.18,000) for the one crore Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) (PMAY (G) beneficiaries.  It also provides Rs.12,000 per Individual Household Latrine (IHHL) wherever required and not provided for under Swach Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G). Realizing the importance of Anganwadi Centres as a pro-poor initiative where poor women can leave young children in a secure environment, MGNREGA funds have been used for large-scale construction of Anganwadi Centre buildings. Nearly 20,000 buildings have been completed in FY 2016-17 and FY 2017-18. Likewise, MGNREGA provided support for Solid and Liquid Waste Management and vermicomposting on a large scale.  Many State-specific projects have emerged leading to generation of wealth from waste. 2.33 lakh Vermi/NADEP composting pits were completed in FY 2017-18.

The approval of works for FY 2018-19 have already been completed through a process of decentralised planning and appraisal of proposals.  The thrust on 2,264 Mission Water Conservation Blocks which are water-stressed regions will continue.  Likewise, support for IHHLs and 90-95 days of work to PMAY (G) beneficiaries will remain a priority.  In FY 2018-19, Gram Sabhas have come up with proposals for nearly five thousand Gramin Haats and their construction to enable producers especially Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) to sell their produce directly to wholesalers.  These will be taken up on priority.  River rejuvenation and support for irrigation is also a major area of activity which will be undertaken on large scale in FY 2018-19. FY 2018-19 will also see a large-scale convergence of women SHGs and their livelihood diversification with the resources made available under the MGNREGA.

All arrears to States are being released before 10 April after due verification of financial documents to be submitted by the States/UTs. With a provision of Rs.55,000 crore at BE stage in FY 2018-19 funds for carrying out works at speed will be ensured in the first quarter of April to June when the demand for work is normally very high.  There shall be no shortage of funds as long as financial discipline, guidelines, transparency norms are fully followed, the government assures.

Over 6,500 barefoot technicians have been trained, nearly 4,100 Resource Persons have been capacitated in the handling of Social Audits and more than 55,000 SHG women have been trained to become social auditors. 26 States have set up their independent Social Audit Units.Social Audit has been provided full support and will continue to be a priority in FY 2018-19. Improvements like mandatory Citizen Information Boards, adoption of simpler seven register system and improved record keeping with photographs, etc., physical display of progress at Gram Panchayat level and forms of public accountability and community participation will be fully emphasized in FY 2018-19.

PIB

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