NEW DELHI: The NDA government, which was critical of the UPA’s flagship the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), on Monday took credit for revival of the scheme in 2015 and called it a cause of national pride and celebration.
As the rural job scheme completes 10 years on Tuesday, the government said that ever since its start, the expenditure on the programme had amounted to `3,13,844 crore and out of this 71 per cent had been spent on wage payments to workers.
The Rural Development Ministry said that the past year, 2015-16, had seen revival of the programme.
The government is holding a meet which will be addressed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
“The person-day generation is the highest in the second quarter (45.88 crore) and third quarter (46.10 crore) than it has been in the last five years. The national person-day generation to date at 146 crore is well above what this figure was at this time last year,” said a ministry official.
The government said the revival had been achieved due to a slew of reforms, including the timely release of funds to States to provide work on demand.
“An electronic fund management system has been successfully instituted, which allows for real time and transparent release of funds to implementing agencies and beneficiaries. There has been consistent coordination between banks and post offices, and constant monitoring of pendency of payments has led to reduction in wage delays,” the official said.
The government said that of the workers, the percentage of Scheduled Caste workers has consistently been about 20 percent and Scheduled Tribe workers has been about 17 percent. A total of 1,980.01 crore persondays have been generated, out of which the percentage worked by women has steadily increased much above the statutory minimum of 33 percent.
Sustainable assets have been created linked to conservation of natural resources and overall development of Gram Panchayats. More than 65 percent of the works taken up under the programme are linked to agriculture and allied activities,” it added.