Covid misery: MNREGS demand above 2-crore degree 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 beneath the agricultural job assure scheme stays excessive even months after the Centre and states lifted most Covid restrictions.

Data obtainable 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 12 months.

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In reality, the month-to-month determine for households availing of the MNREGS has been hovering over two crores since December final 12 months. In the final 18 months, or for the reason that 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 instances, 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 12 months 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 critical as Covid restrictions have been lifted on most financial actions in current months.

In September 2021, Tamil Nadu had the 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 in the course of the monetary 12 months 2020-21. During the present monetary 12 months, 8.57 crore people (6.02 crore households) had executed so until October 30.

Under the MNREGS, each rural family is entitled to not less than 100 days of wage employment in a monetary 12 months. By October 30, 13.15 lakh households had accomplished 100-day employment in the course of the present monetary 12 months. In all, 222.16 crore particular person 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 in the course of the monetary 12 months 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 value and administration bills as of October 30 in the course of the present monetary 12 months, leaving a web steadiness or scarcity of Rs 8,701.94 crore.

The web steadiness 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 an announcement Saturday, the Ministry of Rural Development mentioned that the federal government is “committed” to launch funds for wage and materials funds beneath 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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