Covid misery: MNREGS demand above 2-cr stage 10th month in a row

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Over two crore households availed of the MNREGS in September, indicating that the demand for work underneath the agricultural job assure scheme stays excessive even months after the Centre and states lifted most Covid restrictions.

Data out there on the MNREGS portal present that 2.07 crore households availed of the scheme in September — which was 3.85% larger than for a similar month in 2020 (coming after the primary wave and the severest restrictions of the pandemic), and as a lot as 72.30% larger than September 2019, the final non-Covid yr.

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In truth, the month-to-month determine for households availing of the MNREGS has been hovering over two crores since December final yr. In the final 18 months, or because the pandemic hit, the numbers have been beneath the two-crore mark solely thrice — in April 2020 (1.10 crore), October 2020 (1.99 crore) and November 2020 (1.84 crore). In pre-Covid occasions, the variety of households availing of the MNREGS would cross two crores solely within the months of May and June.

The month-to-month common determine for households availing of the MNREGS was 2.36 crore within the first half of the monetary yr 2021-22 — larger than the month-to-month common of two.28 crore for the entire of 2020-21. In 2019-20, the determine stood at 1.56 crore.

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The steady excessive demand for MNREGS work is important as Covid restrictions have been lifted on most financial actions in current months.

In September 2021, Tamil Nadu had the very best variety of households (46.54 lakh) availing of the MNREGS, adopted by West Bengal (23.47 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (19.57 lakh), Rajasthan (18.73 lakh) and Madhya Pradesh (14.56 lakh).

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Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Manipur and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir noticed a rise of over 30% within the variety of households availing of the MNREGS between September 2020 and September 2021.

Over 11 crore individuals in all (7.5 crore households) availed of the scheme throughout the monetary yr 2020-21. During the present monetary yr, 8.57 crore people (6.02 crore households) had finished so until October 30.

Under the MNREGS, each rural family is entitled to a minimum of 100 days of wage employment in a monetary yr. By October 30, 13.15 lakh households had accomplished 100-day employment throughout the present monetary yr. In all, 222.16 crore individual days had been generated on this time.

Data on the MNREGS portal present Rs 70,135.57 crore expenditure had been incurred until October 30 throughout the monetary yr 2021-22, towards availability of Rs 71,520.69 crore. However, Rs 10,087.06 crore extra is due on account of wage cost, materials price and administration bills as of October 30 throughout the present monetary yr, leaving a internet stability or scarcity of Rs 8,701.94 crore.

The internet stability or scarcity is for 22 states and Union Territories — Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Manipur, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Sikkim, Puducherry and Lakshadweep.

In a press release Saturday, the Ministry of Rural Development mentioned that the federal government is “committed” to launch funds for wage and materials funds underneath the MNREGS. “Fund release towards wage and material is a continuous process. There has been an increase of more than 18% in fund allocation for the current financial year in comparison to the previous financial year as a budget estimate. During the current FY, so far more than Rs.63,793 crore funds have been released for implementation of the scheme in States/UTs. Currently Rs.8921 crore funds are available which can meet the wage liability equal to this current availability,” the assertion mentioned.

“Whenever additional fund is required, the Ministry of Finance is requested to provide the funds. In the previous financial year, the Ministry of Finance allocated Rs 50,000 crore additional funds for the scheme over and above that of BE [budget estimate],” the assertion mentioned.


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