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MGNREGS Outlay: Ministry seeks additional Rs 25,000 crore for rural jobs scheme

A total of 389.16 crore person days of work were generated under the scheme in 2020-21, compared with 265.35 crore person days in FY20 and 267.96 crore in FY19.

In the last fiscal also, the government had allocated an additional Rs 50,000 crore over and above Rs 61,500 crore initially allocated in the Budget.

With nearly 94% of the Rs 73,000-crore budgetary allocation under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural employment scheme (MG-NREGS) having been spent, the rural development ministry has sought an additional outlay of Rs 25,000 crore in the supplementary budget for 2021-22.

MGNREGS is a demand-driven scheme for the enhancement of livelihood security of the households in rural areas by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work in every financial year.

Allocation of additional funds over and above budgetary estimates is a common phenomenon under MGNREGS since the actual fund requirement cannot be accurately be forecast at the beginning of the fiscal as is the number of persons seeking work.

In the last fiscal also, the government had allocated an additional Rs 50,000 crore over and above Rs 61,500 crore initially allocated in the Budget.

Of the Rs 73,000-crore budgetary allocation under the scheme for the current fiscal, Rs 68,496 crore has already been spent, as on October 22.

A rural development ministry official said that additional fund allocation would mean a proportionate increase in the generation of person days of work. Of the approved 280.6 crore person days of job generation estimated earlier for the current fiscal, the actual achievement, as on October 22, stood at 216.46 crore. The rural development ministry estimates that the generation of person days of work might go past the 300-crore mark in the current fiscal as well.

A total of 389.16 crore person days of work were generated under the scheme in 2020-21, compared with 265.35 crore person days in FY20 and 267.96 crore in FY19.

Against the scheme’s mandate to provide at least 100 days of ‘wage employment’ in a financial year to every rural household, 36.34 days of employment has been provided in the current fiscal on an average to rural households compared with 51.52 days in the last fiscal and 48.4 days in 2019-20.

The demand for work, as reported by FE on October 5, however, fell to its lowest in 17 months in September this year, possibly indicating revival of economic activities in urban centres.

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