Expert panel to restructure MGNREGS

Nine member panel headed by Amarjeet Sinha, ex rural development secy.

Expert panel to restructure MGNREGS
he government had spent a record Rs 1.1 trillion under NREGS in FY21. (File photo: IE)

The rural development ministry has set up an expert panel to study effectiveness of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGAS) in poverty alleviation and suggest measures for improving implementation of mega job guarantee scheme.

The nine member expert panel is chaired by Amarjeet Sinha, former secretary, ministry of rural development and the panel is to give its report in the next three months.

The panel will also examine expenditure trends across various states and identify reasons for variations in NREGS expenditure and the panel would also redesign work opportunities available under this scheme.

“The expert panel will recommend institutional mechanisms, including governance and administrative structures, for more effective utilization of funds under MGNREGS especially to address poverty,” Nagendra Nath Sinha, secretary, ministry of rural development, told FE.

Other members of the panel include Sekhar Bonu, Director General, Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office, Niti Aayog, Sonalde Desai, Director, NCAER-National Data Innovation Centre and Amit Kataria, Joint Secretary, NREGS.

The government’s expenditure on rural development is the largest allocation under the social sector scheme. In 2021-22, Rs 0.98 trillion was spent under NREGS and in the current Rs 0.73 trillion has been budgeted for the job guarantee scheme. The government had spent a record Rs 1.1 trillion under NREGS in FY21.

Also read: Ministry to seek Rs 1 trillion for rural jobs in FY24

Sources said that NREGS spending in economically poorer states such as Bihar and Odisha, has been lower than states such as Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

Because of COVID19 pandemic, demands for work under NREGS rose sharply. According to official data, in 2020-21 person days of work generation rose to 389 crore from 265 crore in the previous fiscal. Last fiscal persondays work generated was 363 crore.

Under NREGS, which was launched in 2006, guarantees 100 days of work to each rural household per annum. The scheme allows workers to be associated with various assets creation activities such as road construction, ponds, rejuvenation of water bodies amongst others.

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First published on: 29-11-2022 at 12:05:00 am