Nearly 18.2% households in Bihar demanded MGNREGA work in the current financial year (till Aug 31st) but did not receive it, shows a recent tracker by Peoples' Action for Employment Guarantee
-Third MGNREGA tracker by Peoples' Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), released on 4th September, 2020
The latest tracker of the Peoples' Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG) focuses on the state of implementation of MGNREGA in Bihar. The state has witnessed devastating floods that have affected the lives and livelihoods of numerous residents of Bihar. In addition, the state government itself admits to the return of nearly 18 lakh migrant workers back to the state on account of the lockdown, which many argue is a rather conservative estimate. The social and economic impact of these two shocks can be substantially mitigated by the robust, effectively and timely implementation of MGNREGA in the State. But how far has the state managed to leverage MGNREGA to the advantage of rural workers?
Highlights of the Tracker:
i. While households provided employment this year has been the highest it has been in the last three years (34.3 lakh), yet 18 percent of the households demanded but did not receive employment
ii. Even though Bihar holds the distinction of being home to the largest proportion of out-migrant workers in the country, only 14.17 percent of the new job cards created in the country are from Bihar.
iii. MGNREGA provides a legal entitlement of 100 days per household. While 33,000 households in Madhya Pradesh and 27,000 households in Rajasthan have completed 100 days of employment, only 2,136 households have completed 100 days of work.
iv. As of today, Bihar is short of Rs.159 crores. This means that as of today, let alone having adequate funds for implementing MGNREGA in letter and spirit, Bihar owes money to its workers and material suppliers.
v. With unemployment at a high and unmet demand at 17 percent, it is worrying to note that there has been an increase in material-intensive work in Bihar. 39 percent of total NREGA expenditure so far has been on material, compared to 21 percent last year
vi. In spite of completing the difficult task of conducting social audits of 744 Gram Panchayats in the midst of a pandemic, the audit reports and action taken reports are not in the public domain
Being the first state to undergo elections after the onslaught of the pandemic, it is pertinent to understand and question the performance of the state in implementing MGNREGA given that it is one of the only legal frameworks available to address the economic impact of the pandemic in rural India. PAEG will continue to watch the performance of MGNREGA in Bihar and other states and raise necessary questions to hold the Central and state governments to account.
Please click here to access the 3rd MGNREGA tracker dated 4th September, 2020.
* Source of all figures: www.nrega.nic.in, Ministry of Rural Development, GoI - Reports downloaded on 31st August, 2020.
The People's Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG) is a group of activists, academics and members of peoples' organisations that came together to advocate for the NREGA in 2004. PAEG hopes to play the role of a catalyst in provoking discussion, peoples' monitoring and convening coalitions to strengthen NREGA implementat ion through research and advocacy. PAEG is also facilitating a ser ies of consul tat ions on an urban employment guarantee in collaboration with various campaigns, institutions and organizations.
For more information, please contact:
MS Raunaq (8800901304), Rajendran (9620318492), Anindita (9871832323), Debmalya (7294184845), Rakshita (9818838588)
Third MGNREGA tracker by Peoples' Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), released on 4th September, 2020