MGNREGS was the most prominent safety net during Covid-19 Pandemic: DG NIRDPR
Hyderabad: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) remains the most prominent safety net for rural poor during the economic crisis induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The scheme has helped reverse migrants gain reasonable income to avoid falling into the poverty trap, remarked Dr G. Narendra Kumar IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, while addressing the Webinar as part of ‘Amrut Mahotsav’ organised by the ‘Centre for wage employment and livelihoods.
Dr D. Rajasekhar, Director ISEC Bangalore, delivered the keynote address. He said India has subsequently reduced poor households through effective interventions for the last 75 years. However, millions of labourers in the country still rely on casual agricultural wages for sustenance.
Thus, policies that can assure higher agricultural wages are an effective way to ensure the welfare of the poor. Public employment programs like MGNREGS is an important contributor to overall increase agricultural wages in India, especially in low-income districts.
He said MGNREGS had caused a significant increase of 4.6% per year on the growth rate of wages for agricultural labour. The welfare efforts of such programs should reach well beyond people directly benefitted from it; he noted while speaking about the effect of MGNREGS on rural wages.
Dr Jyothis Sathyapalan, Professor and Head, Centre for Wage employment and livelihoods, said of Mahatma Gandhi NREGS in the volume of total employment is about 11 per cent with an average share of 9.5 per cent of the total income based on a study conducted at the centre.
The major challenge for the centre and state governments is to meet the gap between anticipated and realised demand for employment, which is widening since 2012-13. The relative position of states in the realisation of demand for employment during 2014-18 shows Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand and Karnataka have the low realisation of anticipated demand.
Participants of the online session included officials and academicians. Dr. Hemanth Kumar, Associate professor, NIRDPR delivered the closing remarks and Dr. G. V.K .Lohidas, Proposed vote of thanks.