Bengal’s NREGA not a rosy picture

  • Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Dec 03, 2014 16:44 IST

According to Nabanna sources, a rough average of working days created under MGNREGA in Bengal during the last three years shows that the state ranks a lowly16th among all states on this count.

On the basis of the same average during the last three years in terms of working days created during the same period, the figure for Bengal is much lower than the national average. During the period under review, the average number of working days created under MGNREGA scheme in Bengal every year is just 24.58, as against the national figure of 39.22, a Nabanna source said.

Similarly, with regard to representation of women under MGNREGA’s 100-day scheme, Bengal’s statistical performance during the last three years is far lower than the national average. As per the figures of the state government, of the total number of jobs created under the scheme in Bengal over the last three years, only 34% has allotted to females. The figure, nationally, is much higher at 58%.

Bengal’s performance in terms of coverage under the 100-day job scheme in the tribal areas also makes for woeful reading, as a measly 8.5% of the state’s total tribal population drew benefits from the scheme in the period under review. The figure, nationally, stand s at 15%.

The district that fared the worst in terms of creating jobs under MGNREGA in the period under review is North Dinajpur, with the average number of working days in the last three years at a lowly 15.39. Purulia and Bankura fared slightly better at 22 days and 17.79 days respectively.

“The delay in the release of central funds has often come in the way of extending the desired benefits to the people. This has also contributed to the state faring poorly in allotment of jobs under MGNREGA. The Centre held back fund release citing failure to provide the utilisation certificates of earlier fund allocations,” a senior state official told HT.

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