In the Financial Year 2018-19, so far 92% wage payments under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has been generated within 15 days. This percentage was 26.85% in 2014-15, indicating the remarkable improvement towards making timely payments. The allocation of MGNREGA was also increased to a record Rs. 55,000 crore in 2018-19. So far, the Central Government has released over Rs. 45,070 crore to the States. Including State shares, over Rs. 50,000 crore is available for work so far. On receipt of audited accounts from the State Governments, additional funds are being released this week to ensure sufficient availability in all the States. The thrust on completion of incomplete works is showing with a record Rs. 1.70 crore assets completed in the last 30 months. These assets have been for Natural Resource Management (NRM), Water Conservation works, durable assets, and a very large number of Individual Beneficiary Schemes including a 90/95 days’ work availability for poor households in the construction of their own houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G). Independent evaluation studies have indicated the success of Natural Resource Management in improving incomes, acreage, productivity, fodder availability, and water table. Similarly, independent assessment of Individual Beneficiary Schemes especially for animal resources has acknowledged their contribution in livelihood diversification and poverty reduction.
So far, 142 crore persondays of work has been generated in the current Financial Year. All States and Districts affected by disaster or drought, based on their submissions have been provided additional persondays. 53% of the total persondays generated has been through women workers. 3.57 lakh differently abled persons have also been given work in the current Financial Year. 65:35 (wages to material) ratio at National level is an indicator of effectiveness and possibility of healthy distribution because of enforcing 60:40 at the District level. High quality assets have been possible on account of this change. Each and every asset under MGNREGS is geo-tagged and available in the public domain for scrutiny. All current works are monitored by geo-tagging have before, during, and after completion to ensure full transparency in all works. Nearly 100% expenditure is now through Electronic Fund Management System (e-FMS) indicating the thrust on quality, transparency, and accountability.
MGNREGS is a demand driven and additional resources will be made available as and when required to ensure that no one is denied work on demand. Adequate steps have been taken to ensure timely payments and mobilization of additional resources when required. Reforms in the programme over the last 3 years have substantially improved the quality of durable assets and convergence for effective livelihood diversification.