With change in implementation mode, the MGNREGA performance has improved substantially, as employment generated under it jumped by 60% to record 89 crore person-days in the first quarter of this year.
Under the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme, the employment is demand-driven. Those who turn up for work are hired and paid on notified wage rate.
In the April-June period of last year about 54 crore person-days of employment was generated under the MGNREGA which has jumped to 89 crore this year, joint secretary in rural development ministry Aprajita Sarangi told PTI.
“So far Rs 30,000 crore has been allocated to the states under this scheme which is almost 78% of the total budget. While in the last year at the same time about Rs 20,000 crore was allocated,” she said.
The government has tweaked its implementation strategy of MGNREGA and now the focus is more on asset creation, she added.
To ensure that there are no ghost assets being created, the geo-tagging of all the assets is being done. At the same time there was sharp rise in the number of field visits to assess the implementation of the scheme on ground level, Sarangi said.
The official also mentioned that at the central level the rural development ministry is very minutely monitoring the scheme.
“I think rural distress due to drought has also played a big role in the rise in working days under MGNREGA,” she said.
The Centre has also announced the additional employment over and above 100 days per household to up to 150 days in notified drought affected districts in various states of the country.