Variety of individual days to scale back to 2.7-2.8 billion individual days for subsequent yr, says skilled

Road construction under MGNREGA. Photo: Neha Sakhuja / CSE
Highway building below MGNREGA. Photograph: Neha Sakhuja / CSE

The Union authorities’s budgetary allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi Nationwide Rural Employment Assure Act will cut back the variety of individual days in 2021-22 from what the job era programme has achieved within the present yr, consultants stated.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Finances 2021-22 allocates Rs 73,000 crore for MGNREGA, 34.52 per cent under the Revised Estimate of Rs 111,500 crore for 2020-21. Budgetary Estimate for 2020-21 was Rs 61,500 crore; In 2019-20, Rs 71,686.70 crore was spent on the programme.

“The quantity allotted for subsequent yr is Rs 38,500 crore lower than the Revised Estimate for 2020-21. Whereas the entire variety of individual days generated to date has touched 3.4 billion, the federal government has provisioned for under about 2.7-2.8 billion individual days for subsequent yr. This can restrict the scope of employment and can end in indefinite delays in wage funds within the coming yr,” Debamalya Nandy, Member, NREGA Sangharsh Morcha informed Down To Earth (DTE).

Nandy stated it was disappointing that the Authorities of India had ignored the present rural employment misery although there was a must maximise the spending in MGNREGA for enhancing rural calls for.

“The pandemic has proven that there’s heavy dependence on MGNREGA for employment within the nation and the federal government wanted to push the scheme by taking a variety of measures,” Nandy stated.

The huge underestimation within the price range allocation will solely end in misery in susceptible households, Nandy warned.

The price range’s proposed Rs 73,000 crore for MGNREGA was much less, given the persevering with excessive demand below the scheme on the peak of the novel coronavirus illness (COVID-19) pandemic, Richard Mahapatra, managing editor of DTE, who has coated the topic extensively for a number of years, stated.

“Final yr, the federal government spent Rs 111,500 crore. This was because of the historic exodus of casual staff again to villages resulting in a never-before-seen demand below the scheme. The budgetary allocation doesn’t influence the actual expenditure the federal government has to make,” he added.

He stated this was as a result of it was a demand-driven scheme and authorities was legally guaranteeing to fulfil the 100 days of employment. So, if the demand and thus, expenditure overshot the budgeted quantity, the federal government needed to make a provision. Like final yr, it should spend over Rs 40,000 crore greater than the budgeted allocation.

Supply hyperlink