The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) completed four years of its implementation on Tuesday with calls from both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to fix the “problems” in the UPA government’s flagship rural job scheme.
Singh said NREGA was a path breaking phenomena with its pro-poor vision and promise of the right to work, inclusive growth and social security, which helped the rural poor to tide over the hardships and acted as an important social safety net even during the recent economic slowdown.
“But, there are some deficiencies in the scheme and these need to be addressed,” he said and assured that the Centre would strive hard to improve the mechanism.
Gandhi also talked about the problems in the implementation of the scheme, that she said was a “role model” for other programmes.
“Good work has been done under NREGA but problems are there. We should not just sit with satisfaction over the achievements,” she said.
Gandhi cautioned against being complacent and cited delay in wage payment, less wage payment, less coverage, bogus job cards as some of the challenges the rural job scheme faces.
The PM later presented a report on performance of NREGA while Gandhi released a booklet Rozgar Sutra, with success stories from states.