UPA out, rural ministry plans to scale down NREGA

  • Brajesh Kumar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 24, 2014 00:33 IST

What was inconceivable only few days ago in the corridors of the rural development ministry is now openly being pitched for — how to scale down UPA government’s brainchild NREGA.

Ministry officials are busy drawing up a blueprint for the new government to tweak NREGA in a bid to increase the efficiency of the 2006 rural job guarantee scheme.

Some of the proposed changes include a focus on select blocks instead of all districts, emphasis on creation of durable assets and tweaking the 60:40 ratio of wage and material.

“The UPA II should have never gone ahead with phase two expansion of the scheme,” an official told HT on condition of anonymity. The scheme, when started in 2006, covered the 200 most backward districts, but then was later universalised to cover all districts in 2008.

“Within first few years we realized there was no merit in universalising the scheme. While there could be demand for work in remote villages with no other scope for work other than agriculture, in a village adjacent to an industrial belt, people had other options,” a senior official said.

The ministry officials believe that the more rational approach would be to focus on select blocks that are in need of job security.

The other issue with the scheme, and which needs serious consideration according to officials, is its inability to create durable assets.

Even though it is primarily an employment guarantee scheme, the government spends Rs 30,000- Rs 40,000 crore annually, and therefore there has to be creation of durable assets, officials argued.

One of the reasons why the gram panchayats prefer ‘kutcha’ work and avoid concrete ones is the compulsion of maintaining of 60:40 ratio (wage:material) while taking up work. “Out of every Rs 100 spent, we can earmark only Rs 40 for material.

With such a ratio you can’t carry out concrete work,” an official explained.

The ministry in its presentation has advised tweaking the ratio to enable creation of durable assets.

The scheme that came into existence in 2006 by an Act of Parliament with a guarantee of up to 100 days of employment per household per year has often come in for criticism for leakages, delayed wage payment and lack of demand.

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

Documents filed by candidates in 2004 elections not traceable: EC
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome