MGNREGA push by MoRd and Modi Government
The Modi government has been giving MGNREGA a lot of push. The ministry of finance had allotted Rs 38,500 crore for the scheme’s development in 2016-17. The government is also set to approve a sum of Rs 15,000 crore sought by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD). At least three-fourth of the total amount sought by the MoRD will be approved.
The third week of the ongoing session of the Parliament might enlist the first supplementary demands for grants that will also provide more funds for the Bharat Net project of the Department of Telecommunications.
In June, 2016 the finance ministry had invited proposals from all ministries for the minimum necessary amount required by them. Many ministries including the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had sent proposals for the first batch of the supplementary demands for grants.
Another official said that there is an increase in the demands of the ministries because they are in need of more funds with higher expenditure for projects due in the first quarter of this fiscal year.
According to the data of the Controller General of Accounts, the plan for expenditure in the first two months of this financial year (April-May) rose by a sharp 46 per cent to touch Rs 90,570 crore.
The finance ministry’s willingness to release much of the amount demanded by the MoRD is in complete contrast with its earlier policies.
In the last Budget session, PM Modi had criticized MGNREGA and termed the scheme as the living monument of the previous government’s failure. Rs. 12,581 crore was released by the ministry from this year’s budget to clear the pending dues and liabilities of last year.
The rural development ministry believes that the remaining amount will generate the target of 217 crore person-days of employment for this year. The scheme generated 89 crore person-days of work in April-June 2016. This is much higher than the 54 crore person-days achieved in the same period last year.
The number of works completed on ground too has increased by 15 lakhs in the first three months of this year to reach 32 lakhs. Work generation has caused the MoRD to invest much of the budget and is left with just a fifth of the budgeted sum of Rs. 38,500crore.
Although only 6 states have officially declared drought in this fiscal, the extent of crisis is obvious from the huge increase in MGNREGA work in all 13 drought-hit states listed in the recent Supreme Court petition on drought relief.