Posted by Sandeep Shelke (संदीप शेळके) on July 30th, 2011
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, a flagship project by UPA govt. Intent of NREGA is in dark-contrast with the outcome. I’m not shocked to see this, since I never expected this govt to do any real development work except some quick fix populist decisions and schemes. NREGA is the worst scheme any layman can think of.
When NREGA launched aim was to offer 100 days guaranteed work to rural jobless people. But the kind of work offered is so insulting that 1st batch people were to dig pits on roadside and the people of 2nd batch to fill those. This sent really bad signals to people and made them believe that he/she are getting this as freebie/time-pass.
Following the statement of the NREGA beneficiary:
“We need not to work to earn money but we are entitled to this benefit since politicians are eating a lot of money through corruption.“
NREGA made an adverse impact on the rural economy which is by and large an agricultural economy. Farming, in Bharat, is largely based on farm-labors (from self experience) since vast majority of farmers are marginal farmers. NREGA gave labors access to money without actually doing any work which attracted more farm-labors towards it leaving farmers in search of labors. The workers started demanding more wages for the same work they used to do. E.g earlier a male worker would work for a day @ Rs.100 now he started demanding Rs.200. But there isn’t such increase in the farm produce or their prices. Not just higher wages – since farmers are willing to pay higher wages too – but labor’s work productivity took a beating due too.
NREGA created following problems:
1. Expectation of wages without/less work.
2. Less labor availability or no availability at pick times
3. Intangible economic bubble due to unsustainable model
4. Decreased work quality
To me and my family NREGA is using of public money nefariously to hunt down the economic activities in rural Bharat.
So how does one resolve the issue of guaranteed work while helping farming community? Please keep updated, next post will be on the solution.
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