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25% households in UP, 19% in Odisha, 17% in Bihar, MP didn't get NREGA job: Tracker

By Our Representative

A National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) tracker by a civil society network, Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), has found that where was a surge in NREGA work demand during the pandemic, with the total job cards demand this year reaching 7.5 crore and the total active job cards 9.02 crore.
Yet, it complained, only 19 lakh households could finish 100 days of work as compared to 40.61 lakh last year, which suggests, despite the huge a surge in NREGA work demand due to the pandemic, the government failed to meet the rising demand.
Estimating that, across India, there was around 13% “unmet demand”, as over 97 lakh households’ demand for work could not be met at some point or the other, giving a breakup, the tracker said, “Almost one-fourth of the households in Uttar Pradesh that demanded NREGA work didn’t receive a single day’s work this year.”
It added, “Odisha, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh which were among the states with the highest number of return of migrants during the lockdown, showed an unmet demand of 19%, 17% and 17% respectively.”
On the whole, the tracker said, over 252 crore persondays for NREGA work was generated till November this year, suggesting an increase of 43% compared to the previous year. However, a further analysis suggested funds shortage is a major reason why there was unmet demand.
Thus, it said, over 71% of the total allocated funds for NREGA had already been utilised till November, and another 9.1% had been set aside for pending payments. But with a little more than 100 days still left in the financial year, and likelihood of a high persondays generation in the last four months of the current financial, “NREGA will require another financial boost”, it insisted.
According to the tracker, “The amount allocated to the NREGA this financial year is Rs 1,05,000 crore. The expenditure incurred is Rs. 74,563 core (71%), and pending payments (which includes pending wage payments and pending material payments) is Rs 9,590 crore (9.1%). This leaves Rs 20,847 crore to generate fresh employment, which is a mere 19.8% of the allocation.”

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