Implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
Though the Indian economy has achieved a substantial growth rate of 9%, the problem of unemployment and poverty in India's rural areas continues to be a serious concern. During the last three decades, the rich have become richer and the poor miserably poorer. Even marginal farmers have become landless laborers. Due to ineffective delivery systems and mismanagement of several employment programs initiated by India's central government, the poor have not benefited. To provide a means of livelihood and reduce poverty, the ruling United Progressive Alliance government enacted a law to enable poor people in the rural areas to get 100 days of employment with legal guarantee. This pro-active measure became a law when the National Rural Employment Guarantee Bill was unanimously passed by the Parliament in August, 2005. This book presents the findings of a pilot study on implementation of India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), conducted in four districts - Sitapur, Raebareli, Unnao, and Barabanki. Major findings reveal that the beneficiaries, while expressing satisfaction on the new initiatives taken by the government, demanded an increase in wage rates, an increase in work site facilities as enshrined in the Act, and an increase in the number of working days in a financial year. The study also reveals that there is a wide appreciation of the NREGS in the rural areas with significant representation of beneficiaries from Scheduled Castes and other minorities. It shows there is a need for vigorous identification of job opportunity and strict monitoring of the implementation process. It reveals that creating greater awareness about the scheme through various local media facilities, along with vigorous efforts to involve women workers, is warranted.
Publication Date: 10/1/2008