Budget Economic Survey 2019: Develop real-time rural distress indicator with MGNREGA data

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Updated: July 4, 2019 4:57:13 PM

Economic Survey 2019: "Demand for work under MGNREGS may be used to develop a real-time indicator of distress at the granular district/panchayat level," the survey which was tabled in Parliament on Thursday pointed out.

economic survey, economic survey 2019, MGNREGA, economic survey PDF, Nirmala Sitharaman, economic survey 2018-19, Bibek Debroy, economic survey and budget, economic survey 2019-20, economic survey of indiaEconomic Survey 2019: It said that timely wage payment under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is expected to increase work demand, and now there is need to diversify definition of ‘works’ under the plan. (Reuters photo)

Economic Survey 2019:  There is a need to develop a real time indicator of rural distress by using data related to work demand by MGNREGA workers, the Economic Survey 2018-19 said Thursday. It said that timely wage payment under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is expected to increase work demand, and now there is need to diversify definition of ‘works’ under the plan.

“Demand for work under MGNREGS may be used to develop a real-time indicator of distress at the granular district/panchayat level,” the survey which was tabled in Parliament on Thursday pointed out. It said that distress at the level of a district or panchayat is difficult to identify in real-time using the current data-sets.

Also read: Budget Economic Survey 2019: Amitabh Kant’s two-pronged formula to fulfil Modi’s investment dreams

The employment related NSS surveys are carried out once in 5-6 years, while household level data are released after a gap of almost two years from the date of surveys. As per the Economic Survey, it is important to provide assistance to the household at the right time when an adverse economic shock significantly reduces their consumption expenditure.

“By utilizing information on demand for work under MGNREGS and correlating it with other real-time measures of weather etc, that lead to rural distress, a dashboard can be created which flashes ‘alerts’ from areas under local distress to enable policymakers to act in a timely manner to alleviate such distress,” the survey said.

The timely payment of wages directly into bank account of MGNREGS worker is expected to increase in demand for work under the programme in distressed areas, according to the survey. It has suggested review of expansion of definition of “works” under the scheme and up-skilling of the MGNREGs workers. “The focus needs to be on the diversification of the livelihoods with multiple sources of income for them to come out of poverty,” it added.

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