Govt claims success of rural jobs scheme

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, February 1: | Updated: Feb 2 2008, 02:06am hrs
Under the Government's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) 2.57 crore rural households were given wage employment in the current fiscal till December 2007 against a demand for employment of 2.61 crore households in 330 backward districts of the country, said the Union minister for rural development, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.

Addressing the media persons on the completion of two years of NREGS, the minister said that figure of employment was likely to go up by the close of the current fiscal year in March 31, 2008. He also launched a website www.nerga.nic.in containing relevant data on wage employment under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act which came into force from February 2, 2006. The website has a feedback section.

"During the current fiscal, 85.1 crore person-days have been generated, out of which the share of scheduled castes and tribes was 58.29% (scheduled tribe 31.06%, scheduled caste 27.23%) and women was 44%," said Singh.

The total fund utilization till December 2007 was 9105.74 crore, out of the disbursed Rs 10,500 crore, he said.

The wage share under NREGS in the current fiscal was 67% and expenses on materials and administration was 33% against the permissible ratio of 60:40.

The minister said that in the current fiscal 1231130 works were taken up under NREGS, out of which more than 50% were for water conservation. He said on every year on February 2 would be celebrated as Rozgar Divas and words for best achievements would be awarded to deserving awardees.

Singh said that the observations of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India on NREGS was circulated to states concerned and appropriate action have been initiated.

In the previous year, 2006-07, wage employment was provided to 2.10 crore rural households against a demand of 2.12 crore households in 200 districts. Total fund utilization under the scheme was Rs 8823.36 crore. The wage share was 66.2%, while expenditure for material and administration was 33.8% against the permissible ratio of 60:40. During the year 835360 works were taken up, out of which 50% was for water conservation.