Union Budget 2019 India: The MNREGS allocations have increased steadily at a rate of 13% per annum till FY 2018-19 except for a dip in FY 2014-15. The total number of days of employment generated touched an all-time high of 268 in FY 2018-19. However, the average person days of employment generated per household have not changed significantly over the years with 46 days in FY 2013-14 to 51 days in FY 2018-19.
The top 10 states account for nearly 75% of the total person-days employment generated. It is interesting to see some of the large and relatively prosperous states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana having lower off-take in rural employment.
MNREGS: Person-days generated in crores:
- West Bengal: 33.8
- Rajasthan: 29.4
- Tamil Nadu: 25.8
- Andhra Pradesh: 24.5
- Uttar Pradesh: 21.3
- Madhya Pradesh: 20.3
- Chhatisgarh: 13.9
- Bihar: 12.3
- Telangana: 11.8
- Karnataka: 10.5
The focus in last 5 years has been to increase convergence, which has led to asset creation and employment generation in diverse areas. The rural connectivity, soil and water conservation, ground water recharge and land related works account for majority of work taken up under MNREGS. The transparency and accountability are the two critical elements which central government has been driving as part of increasing the scheme efficiency and effectiveness.
We can expect continued emphasis on the same through DBT (Direct Benefit Transfers), streamlining fund flows and reducing the pendency in making payments to beneficiaries. Given the structural transformation with shifting of labour from agriculture, we would certainly see increased allocation for MNREGS in the upcoming Budget 2019.
By Ashok Verma, Partner and Leader Social Sector, PwC India