The income of poor households saw a substantial rise under the Mahatama Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). According to a study by the Institute of Economic Growth, the income of rural households rose by 11 percent and farm productivity by up to 32 percent. The study added that cereal productivity increased by 11.5 percent and vegetable productivity by 32.3 percent in rural areas under the scheme. Around 155 types of works are carried out under the rural employment guarantee scheme to ensure employment in rural areas as well bring forth asset creation in these areas.
Majority of funds under the scheme are utilised for water conservation works. “The study recorded an increase in incomes of households by nearly 11 percent and increase in cereal productivity by 11.5 percent and vegetable productivity by 32.3 percent,” the rural development ministry said in a statement, sharing details of the IEG research. The study was carried out to assess the impact of works under MGNREGS on sustainable livelihoods. The income mentioned in the findings of the study is other than the wages given for works carried out under MGNREGS.
A total of 78 households reported benefits from an increase in the water table, ranging from 30 percent in Muktsar to 95 percent in Vizianagaram, the study said, adding that 66 percent households reported benefits from the availability of fodder on account of the water conservation works. The expenditure under MGNREGS in the last three years (2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18) has been the highest ever since its inception in 2006. It was scooped up to cover all districts of the country from April 2008.