NREGA jobs dry up in Rajasthan, officials say situation will improve

The government has already spent 98% of available funds of Rs 3,372 crore on NREGA this financial year.

jaipur Updated: Nov 24, 2017 20:13 IST
Manoj Ahuja
Manoj Ahuja
Hindustan Times
MNREGA,Rajendra Rathore,NREGA
An indication of the widening gap in NREGA implementation in Rajasthan is that average number of days of employment provided to each household has fallen to 39 from 56 in 2016-17 and 55 in 2015-16. (HT Photo)

The implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has worsened in Rajasthan in the current financial year with only 22,892 households provided 100 days employment so far as against 4.27 lakh households in 2016-17. The government has already spent 98% of available funds of Rs 3,372 crore on NREGA this financial year.

Another indication of the widening gap in the implementation in Rajasthan is that average number of days of employment provided to each household has fallen to 39 from 56 in 2016-17 and 55 in 2015-16.

MGNREGA, introduced in February 2006 by the UPA government, promises 100 days of employment every year to each rural household.However, in most villages in Rajasthan, there is very little work available under NREGA. Mostly it is women who are now applying for the NREGA work as men look for alternative means of employment.

“There is no work. The situation is this bad for the past one year. About 15-20% job card holders have got some work this year,” said Devkaran, a social worker in Jahazpur tehsil of Bhilwara.

This is also reflected in the number of job card holders in Rajasthan with the figure coming down from 99.36 lakh in 2015-16 to 95.24 lakh in 2016-17 and 94.59 lakh in the current financial year.

“The jobs under NREGA are demand driven. There are still four months remaining for the financial year to end and it will come at par with last year by end of March,” said state MNREGA department additional commissioner Shahin Ali Khan.

State panchayati raj minister, Rajendra Rathore said that Rajasthan was the second largest spender in the country under NREGA scheme but he will have to check the 100-day households figure. “In the past four years, Rajasthan government has provided employment to over 40 lakh rural families with 5.40 lakh works being completed,” he said.

While the figures in the past have been impressive, the government officials have kept silent about the worsening situation, assuring that the situation will improve towards the end of the financial year.

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 20:13 IST